Testify at Joint Committee on Transportation Listening Tour

Text below from Verde.

The Oregon Joint Committee on Transportation announced a 12-stop, summer 2024 listening tour to gather input on how to fund and invest in transportation in 2025.

Oregon is struggling to raise enough money to fund our transportation system. Currently, most of our transportation funds come from fuel taxes (like the gas tax) and other fees associated with driving. Because the gas tax doesn’t increase with inflation its “buying power” has declined.  State transportation funds will continue to decrease as cars become more fuel-efficient. This session, the Joint Committee will determine how the state will fund transportation: from taxes, fees, or by moving money out of other programs.

Passing a new tax or fee is more difficult than passing other bills; they need a greater share of YES votes from legislators in order to pass. That’s because members of the public often oppose new taxes and fees. To overcome this in 2025, legislators need to know that their constituents support the parts of the 2025 bill that raise money.

Any funds that do get raised this session will also be pulled in different directions;

  • A years-long maintenance backlog throughout the state that includes seismic reinforcements for over 700 bridges around Oregon,

  • Popular programs that receive more requests each year than there are available funds to support Safe Routes To School, trails and multi-use paths, and safe community main streets,

  • Public transit and paratransit service that connects people to jobs, care, and community,  and

  • The Metro-area freeway expansion projects ordered by the legislature in 2017, which cost more than many of these other programs combined and currently don’t have a clear long-term funding plan in the absence of tolling. 

Our campaign partners came together because we believe that Oregon deserves a fair and sustainable way to fund our transportation system. Communities across the state will suffer if we continue to operate on an increasingly tight  transportation budget. A fair and sustainable funding plan should:

  • Benefit people with low or fixed incomes;

  • Encourage transportation choices that will improve our climate, safety, and local economies; and

  • Use transportation funds in ways that are accountable to our statewide plans and goals. Specifically, to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support clean transportation choices to reduce drive-alone trips, and stop the surge in traffic deaths by making main streets safe to walk, bike, and roll on.

If you have stories or thoughts to share with legislators about what a fair funding plan that supports a safe, clean, accountable transportation system would look like, they need to hear from you! Our campaign is specifically seeking to uplift the stories and priorities of transportation-disadvantaged Oregonians because of their perspective on the challenges in our system. This includes:

  • Black, Indigenous, and People of Color

  • Low-income people

  • Transit-dependent people

  • Non-drivers

  • Disabled people

  • Rural and coastal residents

  • Youth

  • Older adults, and

  • Others who have been less represented or more burdened by past transportation decisions.

If you share these experiences, we especially encourage you to make a comment and are here to support however we can.

The campaign's full testimony guide has locations and times for all campaign stops! Check out the list and find one near you.

And if you have more capacity to lend, please fill out the Move Oregon Forward Campaign Interest Form - become part of a campaign powered by active transportation, climate, and environmental justice organizations from across the state working together to pass forward-thinking legislation in 2025 and beyond that helps to benefit every Oregonian in rural and urban communities. 

Time commitment: From 2 minutes to as many hours as you have available!
Sponsoring organization(s): 1000 Friends of Oregon | BEST | Climate Solutions | Oregon Environmental Council | Oregon Trails Coalition | Oregon Walks | Verde
Solution Area:
Adaptation & Resilience
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Food & Agriculture
Governance & Leadership
Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)
Land Use & Restoration
Mental Health & Mindfulness
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Listing created Jun 18, 2024