This week, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) publicly released its Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund (STIF) Legislative Report. The report, delivered last week by the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) to the Legislature, details progress in the STIF program as well as investments in public transportation.
STIF, created as a part of the 2017 transportation package Keep Oregon Moving (HB 2017) is funded through a payroll tax of one-tenth of one percent on employee wages paid by employees. Program funding is dedicated to expanding public transportation, improving mobility, relieving congestion, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The payroll tax, according to a December 2019 forecast is estimated to bring $253 million in revenue during the 2019-2021 biennium. In 2019, the Legislature redirected $10.1 million from STIF to the Special Transportation Fund (STF) to provide transportation services for older adults and persons with disabilities, leaving an estimated $243 million in the STIF fund for the current biennium.
ODOT estimates by mid-2021, the program will have funded and accomplished the following:
- 38 million new transit passenger rides;
- 1.3 million hours of new bus service;
- 300 miles of transit service gaps filled across the state.
- Nearly 500,000 new rides provided to students in grades 9-12;
- 329 new buses, with close to 30 percent low or no emission; and
- $73 million additional transit revenue leveraged from $224 million STIF investment.
To review the full report, click here.
In the 2019 Legislative Session, lawmakers directed ODOT to consolidate STIF and STF into a single public transportation program. ODOT and the established Consolidation Advisory Committee developed a report and legislative concepts with statutory changes necessary for the consolidation of the two programs. The ODOT STIF report also notes, if the Legislature pursues those options in the 2020 Legislative Session, included in House Bill 4036, the agency will take action to implement changes to the programs.
Contributed by: Megan Chuinard | Public Affairs Associate