Legislature Releases Newest Version of Transportation Package Bill

On Friday, the Oregon legislature released the most recent round of amendments to the statewide transportation package, and we are thrilled to see that it includes an estimated $1.3 billion in transit, bike, and pedestrian investments over the next ten years. This bill provides a unique opportunity for transit and active transportation advocates to secure lasting investments in our shared priorities, including funding for public transit, bike and pedestrian trails, and Safe Routes to School.

The amended bill, H.B. 2017-10, has passed out of committee and is now headed to the floors of both legislative chambers. This proposal reflects the latest development in our years-long effort to promote state policies that support the ability of all Oregonians to bike, walk, and use public transit both safely and easily. Thanks to the tireless work of supporters throughout the state, including The Street Trust members and our partners in the Transportation for Oregon’s Future Coalition, we stand to gain an estimated $1.3 billion in transit, bike, and pedestrian investments over the next ten years.

Some of the details: Based on the amendments made public on Friday, this package dedicates $10 million in annual funding to the Safe Routes to School program for five years and increases to $15 million in annual funding starting in 2022. This new program will protect schoolchildren with critical safety improvements within one mile of elementary and middle schools. The bill includes $107 million annually for statewide transit, which is a groundbreaking investment that will improve transit service for years to come. We also expect this package to include a $7 million annual investment in bikeable and walkable trails through the ConnectOregon program. The legislation also sets aside $12 million per year to incentivize drivers to switch over to electric vehicles.

While this revised bill is certainly promising, the transportation package still fails to address a number of key issues The Street Trust and our partner organizations have been advocating for in the legislature. In its current version, the bill does not expand the youth pass program, nor does it provide an approach towards Vision Zero, which relies on traffic engineering and education to eliminate all road fatalities and serious injuries.

There are also concerning provisions in the bill, including a tax on bicycles. Lawmakers have until the end of the legislative session to work out the details of the final package, which is why it’s so critical for members of The Street Trust to get in touch with their legislators in Salem and urge them to stand up for walking, biking, and public transit in our state. This fight is far from over, and we need all hands on deck to help pass a transportation package which reflects our values and priorities.

Let’s make it happen: Contact your legislators right now to make sure Oregon becomes a safer and more accessible place to bike, walk, and use public transit!

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Comments (3)

  1. Lake McTighe Permalink  | Jul 05, 2017 10:47am

    The graph should include all of the expenditures in the package, not only transit, bike and ped.

  2. Cysquatch Permalink  | Jul 06, 2017 10:17am

    Regarding the bike tax…

    It would apply to a “new bicycle that has wheels of at least 26 inches in diameter and a retail sales price of $200 or more (Section 89, page 187).”

    At the time of sale, “an excise tax of $15 is imposed on each sale at retail in this state of a taxable bicycle (Section 92, page 191).”

    Generated revenue would go to the “Connect Oregon Fund established under ORS 367.080 for the purpose of providing grants for bicycle and pedestrian transportation projects (Section 97, page 196).”

    Under the proposed bill, it would appear that e-bikes would be subject to both the new bicycle excise tax and the new motor vehicle tax, as the definition of “taxable bicycle” does not exclude e-bikes, and the definition of “taxable motor vehicle” specifically includes e-bikes.


  1. Add your name to thank the legislators who funded Safe Routes to School! | Our Healthy Streets - July 19, 2017

    […] Many partner organizations in the For Every Kid Coalition have more analysis of the transportation package as a whole. Find more information from OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, and The Street Trust. […]