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Public Transportation Division News

As of 3/16/2020 all coronavirus updates and information will be shared on the COVID-19 page.

Latest News

June 25, 2021

FTA today announced $182 million in project selections through the Low- or No-Emission (Low-No) Grant program, which funds the deployment of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses and supporting equipment and facilities. A total of 49 projects in 46 states and territories will receive funding through the program. One agency in Oregon, Salem Area Mass Transit District, will receive $6,305,422 to purchase electric buses to replace aging diesel buses.

FTA’s Low-No Program supports transit agencies in purchasing or leasing low- or no-emission buses and other transit vehicles that use advanced technologies such as battery electric and fuel-cell power to provide cleaner, more energy efficient transit service in communities across the country. This year’s funding opportunity prioritized applications with an environmental justice component as well as those that support workforce development to help America’s transit workers succeed even as their jobs change along with technology.

November 17, 2020

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today announced $7.7 million in Tribal Transit Program grant awards to 25 tribal governments for projects to improve public transportation on tribal lands.

"These federal grants will help American Indian and Alaskan Native tribal governments provide public transportation in rural areas, connecting tribal residents with jobs, healthcare and other essential services," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

The Tribal Transit Program makes funds available to federally recognized Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages, groups, or communities to support capital projects, operating costs, and planning activities for public transportation services on and around tribal lands. 

One tribal government in Oregon was awarded funds. The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs will receive $350,000 in funding to purchase new transit vehicles to replace aging vehicles that have exceeded their useful life.

July 31, 2020

New Regional Transit Coordinator Assignments in Region 2

Effective July 15, 2020, the ODOT Public Transportation Division (PTD) is changing several areas of regional transit coordinator (RTC) responsibility. The change involves moving Lincoln County Transportation District and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians to Arla Miller's area of responsibility (Region 2A) and moving Salem Area Mass Transit District, the City of Silverton and the City of Woodburn to Mark Bernard's area of responsibility (Region 2B).

This change will align the working relationships Arla and Mark have with Tribal governments, MPO areas and other transit providers in Region 2, and will provide local support with more efficiency. The realignment leverages RTC expertise and geographic location and will enhance PTD's collaboration and coordination with transit stakeholders.

Arla is located in Astoria and can be reached on 503-949-5415,

Mark is located in Salem and can be reached at 503-986-2836,

June 10, 2020

Public Transportation Division Reorganization Announcement

From Karyn Criswell, PTD Administrator

I'm pleased to share the new structural organization of the Oregon Department of Transportation Public Transportation Division (PTD) (formerly the Rail and Public Transit Division). This is part of ODOT's overall shift to organized staff by shared functions, rather than by mode or user group, to improve our internal knowledge transfer, strategically align our priorities, and increase efficiency. Read more at this link:  Shared Functions.

PTD's new organization helps us more fully integrate public transportation, pedestrian and bicycle travel, and passenger rail into the division and the department's work to address our climate goals, infuse equity principles and equitable access to transportation throughout our work, and support congestion relief strategies that include multimodal transportation options.

PTD falls within ODOT's Operations functional group, led by ODOT's Assistant Director for Operations, one of four new assistant directors who oversee the entirety of the department with the intent of improving multimodal and cross-divisional integration.

Our Division's Mission

PTD exercises statewide leadership and vision for public transportation, walking and biking, and passenger rail by promoting, developing, funding and managing multimodal statewide networks of transportation systems and facilities. These systems and facilities provide access to Oregon's residents and visitors, provide efficient movement of commerce, support healthy sustainable travel choices, improve safety, and promote Oregon's economy.

The New Structure

The new structure integrates our functions into four units. Read the more detailed organization chart at this link: PTD Organization Chart.

Public Transportation Division Simplified Organizational Chart

Policy and Strategic Investment Unit

  • Develops strategies, prioritizes investments, and advances work efforts to create a more modern and integrated statewide multimodal system which includes pedestrian and bike facilities, freight rail operations, and public transportation, including passenger rail.
  • Manages and develops program guidance and project selection criteria and maximizes the value of transportation investments locally, regionally, and statewide.
  • Encourages consideration  of multimodal options to meet our climate, equity, and congestion relief goals

Program Implementation Unit

  • Implements PTD policies, goals, strategies, and programs.
  • Implements investment strategies through regional transit coordinators, regional staff, and local agency partners.
  • Manages delivery of internal and external stakeholder technical assistance and trainings.

Rail Operations and Statewide Multimodal Network Unit

  • Manages contracted delivery of public transportation services, including passenger rail.
  • Facilitates local partnerships to fill gaps in the statewide public transportation network.
  • Coordinates with public transportation providers and local governments to better integrate all modes and communicate transportation options.
  • Manages data and related systems to improve understanding of the multimodal transportation network and connections across modes for the traveling public and system managers.

Program Services Unit

  • Manages federal, state, and grant recipient compliance, including reporting in the Oregon Public Transit Information System, the National Transit Database, and FTA TrAMS.
  • Develops and oversees compliance review program in coordination with site review contractors.
  • Creates guidance in collaboration with other PTD units to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations.
  • Calculates formula program allocations; determines and administers distributions to partner agencies.

The Leadership Team and Modal Points of Contact
Division leadership includes staff members that represent multimodal perspectives.

  • Karyn Criswell, Public Transportation Division Administrator
  • Marsha Hoskins, Policy and Implementation Manager (Public Transportation)
  • Susan Peithman, Policy and Strategic Investment Unit Lead (Pedestrian and Bicycle)
  • Jennifer Sellers, Interim Rail Operations and Statewide Multimodal Network Manager (Rail Operations and Freight Rail)
  • Rick Shankle, Program Services Manager
  • Maile Boals, Grant Services Manager Lead

Next Steps

As we work towards full implementation we will keep you updated, with a commitment to continue providing excellent service. During the transition, please continue to reach out to your regular contacts and let us know if you have any questions. Thank you for working with us to make Oregon a better place for all.


CARES Act Apportionment Information for Oregon, April 2020

Expanded Federal Assistance for Section 5311 Subrecipients Updated April 16, 2020

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