Encouraged by May’s overwhelming voter approval to extend FIxing Our Streets in Portland and passage of a regional homeless services measure, the Portland-area regional government, Metro, continues to advance a transportation measure to the November ballot. The measure would fund crucial safety and transit investments over the next 20 years.
In the final months leading to referral, The Street Trust and its partners in the Getting There Together (GTT) coalition have been focused on ensuring that, in addition to capital projects, the measure funds programs that address community priorities: safer streets for walking and biking, affordable transit, and resources to prevent displacement that may be caused by transportation projects. We’ve made great progress toward ensuring these programs are funded.
The Street Trust and GTT are calling for a universal, regionwide, year-round free transit pass for all youth 18 and under, not only students. At this point, Metro Council is looking at starting with a regionwide high school student pass and ramping up to a universal pass for all youth in future years. Leaving out young people who are not in school and youth who are not yet in high school is not acceptable.
The Metro Council will finalize programs over the next few weeks and vote in July to refer the measure to voters.