The Oregon Department of Transportation is updating the Oregon Public Transportation Plan (OPTP) to replace the 1997 version. The new OPTP will provide a statewide vision for the public transportation system and provide a policy foundation to assist transportation agencies in making decisions. Don’t miss the opportunity to participate in the online open house and provide your feedback no later than this Friday, July 20th.
Here are some of our key comments for suggested changes to the draft OPTP:
- Call on transit agencies to include communities who have been marginalized and disadvantaged, in leadership roles and advisory committees. Low-income communities and communities of color are historically under-represented in leadership positions. This creates an inherently biased approach to setting transportation policies.
- Include a discussion on housing, gentrification and displacement when identifying disparities, barriers, and needs that impact people’s ability to access and use public transportation.
- In addition to incorporating equity criteria into funding decisions, prioritize funding projects that positively impact low-income communities and communities of color.
- Incorporate language to facilitate the state working more closely with the Oregon Department of Education and Pupil Transportation to address student needs. This sort of partnership would complement student services for to/from school and after-school activities, and allow more students more opportunity to access transit options to get where they need to go.
- Identify concrete steps the state and local agencies can take to meet the need for lower fares to reach youth and low income communities.
- Strengthen transit access to parks and nature. We believe there is a great opportunity to not only relieve congestion at parks and nature destinations, but also to ensure equitable access for underserved communities at these destinations.
View our full comment paper here, and don’t forget to weigh in this week!