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September 2, 2022

In late August, we invited safety advocates, community members, elected officials and city and school staff to join us in marking five years of expanded Safe Routes to School funding. We met at Linwood/Sojourner Elementary in Milwaukie, where new crossings, medians, multiuse paths, curbs and more are helping youngsters get to and from school safely. More than 30 people showed up — some on bikes, some walking on the new paths — and it was, indeed, a celebration.

Director Strickler recognized the key players in the Milwaukie project and also thanked several individual attendees who were there five years ago to testify on behalf of HB 2017 — the legislation that expanded the funding for the Safe Routes program. Trey Niggermann, now in middle school, was a student at Linwood/Sojourner back in 2017 when he went in front of the legislature to tell them how important it is to fund these types of projects.

“I’m happy that I helped make it happen,” he told the crowd. 

Watch a video from the event — and watch for $90 million more in Safe Routes to School funding coming to communities all over Oregon in the next five years!

August 17, 2022

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration today announced $1.66 billion in grants to transit agencies, territories, and states across the country to invest in 150 bus fleets and facilities. Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, more than 1,100 of those vehicles will use zero-emissions technology, which reduces air pollution and helps meet the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. This year's funding alone will nearly double the number of no-emission transit buses on America's roadways. For the first time, five percent of low- and no-emission bus funding will be used to train transit workers on how to maintain and operate new clean bus technology. Six agencies in Oregon were awarded funds:

  • Trimet - $5,566,583 for transit center expansion
  • Umpqua Public Transportation Division - $4,632,050 for three electric buses, chargers, maintenance facility, wash station, and solar-powered covered parking lot
  • City of Corvallis - $2,658,068 for two electric buses and charging stations
  • Sandy Area Metro - $2,081,883 for two electric buses and charging equipment
  • Yamhill County Transit - $1,050,000 for eight buses for demand response service, ADA paratransit services, and local routes
  • Sunset Empire Transportation District - $612,000 for four buses to provide fixed route, paratransit, dial-a-ride and intercity service

FTA's Low or No Emission (Low-No) Grant Program makes funding available to help transit agencies buy or lease U.S.-built low- or no-emission vehicles, including related equipment or facilities. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $5.5 billion over five years for the Low-No Program – more than six times greater than the previous five years of funding. For Fiscal Year 2022, approximately $1.17 billion was available for grants under this program.

FTA's Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program supports transit agencies in buying and rehabilitating buses and vans and building bus maintenance facilities. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides nearly $2 billion over five years for the program. For Fiscal Year 2022, approximately $550 million for grants was available under this program.

For a list of all projects please visit the FY22 FTA Bus and Low- and No-Emission Grant Awards page.

March 14, 2022

FTA today announced the award of approximately $409.3 million in funding to support projects under FTA’s Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program. Three agencies in Oregon were awarded funds through the program. Lane Transit District will receive $4,891,676 to purchase zero emission buses and charging infrastructure. Rogue Valley Transportation District will receive $12,552,523 to build a new bus maintenance facility. Through ODOT, the City of Cottage Grove will receive $244,800 to purchase new buses to replace aging ones for South Lane Wheels, the city's transit service provider.

The grants support modernizing and improving the most widespread form of transit in America and will help dozens of communities buy new-technology and battery electric and fuel-cell power to provide cleaner, more energy efficient transit service in communities across the country. Projects were prioritized that reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions, promote cleaner air, and help support workforce development to help America’s transit workers succeed even as their jobs change along with technology.

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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