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  • 02/19/2024 11:16 PM | Anonymous

    Submit Proposals at https://forms.gle/q5AKys8sRVGoABzU7 

    Deadline to Submit: March 15, 2024

    Conference Theme: ABCs of Transportation -  Accessibility, Back to Basics, and Capacity Building

    Conference Date: October 27-30, 2024

    Location: Seaside Civic & Convention Center

    Desired Topics: Any topics related to the conference theme including Fixed Route, Demand Response, Transportation Options, Technology, Professional Development, Coordination/Communication, Success Stories

    Submission Details:

    • You MUST be an OTA member in good standing to submit proposals.
    • Submit proposals separately.
    • Do not submit duplicate proposals under different topics. Select the topic closest to your main ideas.
    • Do not submit preselected full panel proposals.
    • Be sure to add ALL proposed speakers (you and a partner if it’s a joint presentation)
    • OTA will communicate with the submitter for all notifications and deadlines, who must then share the information as needed with their speaker(s)
    • Submissions should avoid being a sales pitch or overly commercial.
    • All proposals must be submitted using the online form to be considered.
    • Be concise when submitting your proposal ideas (350 words max)
    • Submissions should reflect innovative, cutting-edge content.
    • OTA will confirm if your submission has been accepted as a speaker on a panel or another opportunity.
    • Submitters may submit multiple proposals but will only have one opportunity to speak, if selected
    • After a careful review, all submitters will receive an official notification by email.
    • Submissions are not automatically accepted and OTA reserves the right to make all final decisions on speaker selections.
    • Decision notifications will be sent out mid to late April 2024.
  • 02/07/2024 8:50 PM | Anonymous

    The Oregon Transit Association (OTA) and the Amalgamated Transit Union 757 (ATU) are introducing Senate Bill 1553-1, which adds the use of illicit drugs on public transit to the offenses punishable under the crime of Interfering with Public Transportation (IPT).

    As with most Interfering with Public Transportation offenses, a person using illicit drugs on a public transit vehicle or at a transit station could be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor. Senate Bill 1553-1 classifies this form of IPT as drug-designated misdemeanor, allowing individuals convicted of the crime to access state-funded treatment in many instances.

    The bill is sponsored by State Sen. Kate Lieber (D), Dist. 14.

    Stopping illicit drug use on public transit

    The fentanyl addiction crisis in Oregon has led to unprecedented public emergency declarations, and the widespread open use of illicit drugs in public spaces has extended onto the state’s public transportation systems. Illicit drug use is particularly problematic on transit, which brings people together for a shared ride in the confined spaces of buses and trains.

    “Transit is a vital public resource and a unique type of public space,” said Derek Hofbauer, Board President for the Oregon Transit Association. “Unlike sidewalks and other open public spaces, transit riders must wait at designated transit stops and stations, making it difficult to avoid exposure to illicit drug use.”

    Public transit must feel safe and accessible for everyone, and particularly for the families, essential workers, high school students, individuals with disabilities, and other Oregonians who depend on transit as a lifeline to jobs, education, and health care. Expanding the Interfering with Public Transportation statute to cover the use of illicit drugs on transit will give law enforcement the tools necessary to keep public transit, its riders and its employees safe.

    “Public transit must be a drug-free zone,” said Shirley Block President of Amalgamated Transit Union 757. “Our union operators and transit field staff have the right to do their jobs without worrying about the unpredictable behavior of people using illicit drugs or fearing potential long-term exposure to drug fumes.”

    Illicit drug use on transit undermines community revitalization

    Illicit drug use on or near public transit makes both riders and employees feel unsafe. When people feel unsafe, they are less likely to ride transit or seek employment as a bus driver or train operator. This cycle threatens the financial health of transit agencies and their ability to provide public transportation for their communities.

    Safe and reliable public transportation is a cornerstone of a thriving society. It is a vital source of equitable transportation that contributes to community revitalization and economic development, reduces traffic congestion, and plays an important role in meeting local, regional, and statewide climate action goals.

    ###


  • 12/05/2023 1:30 PM | Anonymous

    A new handbook will help local governments navigate state and federal funding opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

    The Every Mile Counts Funding Handbook for Local Governments provides information about the various resources available, including funding amounts, which federal or state agency is in charge, when to apply, who to talk to, and where to learn more.

    Read the funding handbook PDF online.

    More than $369 billion in federal funds are available, thanks to recent historic investments from Congress to help the country transition to clean energy and tackle climate change. Many state funding opportunities are available, too.

    The handbook was published by the Every Mile Counts partnership of state agencies, which includes the Oregon Departments of Environmental Quality, Land Conservation and Development, Transportation, and Energy.

    Transportation makes up about 35% of greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon. State agencies are working to reduce emissions from transportation over the next several decades; by 2050, emissions will be 60% lower than they were in 1990. Learn how at the Oregon transportation emissions website.

    For more information about the handbook, contact:

    Cody Meyer, Land Use and Transportation Planner, DLCD, 971-239-9475.

    Brian Hurley, Senior Transportation Planner, ODOT, 503-986-4398.


  • 12/05/2023 1:29 PM | Anonymous

    Suzanne Carlson, who recently served as director of ODOT's Climate Office, was named administrator for ODOT's Public Transportation Division and will join the OTA Board of Directors. 

    Carlson joined ODOT as Director of its Climate Office in July 2021. She has worked throughout the country in multimodal transportation and climate action, with a focus on collaboration and results. Prior to joining ODOT, Carlson led transit and active transportation programs for Tennessee DOT, Innovate Memphis and Chicago DOT. She also served as Director of Environmental Affairs at Chicago Public Schools. Carlson has a Master’s in Public Administration and is a LEED Accredited Professional BD+C.

    She can be contacted at suzanne.carlson@odot.oregon.gov or 503-986-3300.

    Please welcome Suzanne to the OTA!


  • 12/05/2023 1:29 PM | Anonymous

    Legislators and transportation industry leaders, including many OTA members, attended the Oregon Transportation Forum annual meeting today in Portland at the David Evans & Associates headquarters. 

    OTA board members present included President Andi Howell from Sandy Area Metro, Vice President Tom Markgraf from Tri-Met, Past President Julie Brown from Rogue Valley Transit District, Pat Walsh from Lane Transit District, Julie Wilcke Pilmer from Ride Connection, and Suzanne Carlson from the ODOT Public Transportation Division. OTA staff present included executive director Patrick Sieng and government affairs director Drew Hagedorn. Other transit advocates in attendance included Miles Pengilly from Tri-Met, Tyler Janzen from Thorn Run Partners representing Tri-Met, Waylon Buchan from CFM Advocates representing Cherriots and Rogue Valley Transit District.

    Senator Brian Boquist (I-Dallas), Senator Chris Gorsek (D-Troutdale), and Representative Susan McLain (D-Hillsboro) made up the legislative panel to provide a preview to attendees of the 2024 and 2025 legislative sessions. All three did not expect there to be any major transportation initiatives for the short session, but said there is a "big lift" for transportation advocates ahead of the 2025 session. 

    Brown, who also chairs the Oregon Transportation Commission, also shared tidbits about her insight of the department, the state's funding challenges, and how we have to work together leading up to 2025. She was introduced by Hagedorn. Both are pictured above.

    Attendees learned about transportation funding, electric vehicles, and also spent some time strategizing on how to prepare for a comprehensive funding package in the 2025 session. 


  • 08/28/2023 9:54 PM | Anonymous

    The Public Transportation Advisory Committee (PTAC) will hold its meeting both in person and by Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/5033836733 at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, September 11, 2023. The agenda and materials for this meeting are available on the PTAC website.

    Agenda for the May PTAC Meeting will be as follows:

    • Executive Committee Update
    • Approval of Recovery Funding – CARES/ARP Discretionary Grant Funds
    • Approval of updated Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan for Sunset Empire Transportation District (SETD)
    • ODVA- Rural Veterans Overview
    • Public Transit Division Updates

    Meetings of the Public Transportation Advisory Committee are open to the public, this meeting is a hybrid meeting and will take place both in person and virtually through Zoom. The in-person location will be at: The ODOT Mill Creek office - 555 13 St. NE, Salem Oregon, 97301. (Parking Permits are required and will be provided when you check in at the Mill Creek building.)

    Written public comments are being accepted and can be delivered by completing the PTAC Presentation or Comment Submission form. Accommodations will be provided to people with disabilities, and alternate formats of printed material are available on request. Please call 503-986-3300 (or statewide relay 711) for accommodations.

    Meeting Materials will be provided on September 7, 2023 and if you would like to learn more about this committee’s work, visit the Public Transportation programs website.

    For information: Stephanie Zellner, stephanie.zellner@odot.oregon.gov


  • 08/28/2023 9:52 PM | Anonymous

    APPLY TODAY

    Join our team as the Public Transportation Division Administrator! In this role, you will represent and oversee public transportation program delivery. This position is a member of ODOT’s agency leadership team which supports the statewide mission, goals and strategy for ODOT. In addition, this position oversees the Public Transportation Advisory Committee and the Rail Advisory Committee who are directly responsible to the Oregon Transportation Commission. This position is the legislative contact for rail and public transportation issues and information. Apply today to join our team!

    We encourage people from all backgrounds to apply for our positions and hope you will join us on our path to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are an agency that embraces social equity through our values, strategic planning, and actions. Leaning into our equity priorities means we continually examine what we do, the impact we have, and our progress toward weaving social equity into who we are. To learn more about our social equity commitments, visit our Social Equity website

    Our first application screening is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 7, 2023. We encourage interested applicants not to delay in applying.


  • 08/02/2023 1:32 AM | Anonymous

    The OTA Board of Directors has various positions open. If you would like to serve the OTA on the board of directors, please email info@oregontransit.com with your resume and a statement of why you want to serve by August 6th. New board members will be selected at the August 15th annual meeting dinner being held in Vancouver.

  • 08/02/2023 1:31 AM | Anonymous

    Please submit worthy individuals or organizations for our annual awards! This is the final week to submit nominations for the following awards:

    • SYSTEM INNOVATION: Honoring a public transportation system that has demonstrated innovative concepts or effective problem-solving techniques not previously applied in the public transportation industry.
    • OUTSTANDING EMPLOYEE: Honoring an employee of a public transportation system who has made outstanding contributions to the public transportation industry.
    • OUTSTANDING MANAGER: Honoring a manager of a public transportation system who has made outstanding contributions to the public transportation industry.
    • DISTINGUISHED SERVICE: Honoring a public transportation decisionmaker, elected or public official, or private citizen who has contributed at the highest level to the public transportation industry through policy, legislative initiative, and leadership.
    • HERO AWARD: Honoring a public transportation employee, volunteer, or passenger who has demonstrated a high level of compassion and care to those using transit services.
    • DRIVER OF THE YEAR: Honoring a public transportation driver who has consistently demonstrated outstanding service and care to their passengers.
    • OUTSTANDING BOARD MEMBER: Honoring a member of a public transportation system's governing board for their outstanding contributions to the public transportation industry.

    Submit a Nomination - https://forms.gle/tjY91G4TSqBEBAq56 

  • 07/14/2023 12:32 PM | Anonymous

    Commission Approves Oregon Transportation Plan 

    The commission approved the Oregon Transportation Plan, or OTP, which is the 25-year plan that shapes the state’s transportation system. This new OTP focuses on connecting people and goods in the most climate-friendly, equitable and safe ways.  

    Oregon’s transportation system faces many significant challenges. The OTP seeks to address these challenges through a policy framework aimed at: 

    • Saving lives. 
    • Centering equity. 
    • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 
    • Securing sustainable and reliable funding. 
    • Maintaining the existing system and completing critical connections. 
    • Enabling the efficient movement of goods and services.  

    Additional funding would be required to achieve the many goals of the OTP. The plan includes information on how to prioritize limited funding and how any additional money should be allocated.    

    “Without additional funding, we need to make tough tradeoff decisions,” said ODOT Director Kris Strickler. “This plan helps us advance toward more equitable outcomes, address the most critical safety issues, and build and maintain a cleaner transportation system with the limited funds we do have.”  

    The plan recognizes that operations and maintenance of the entire multimodal transportation system is vital. Roadways are a key asset for freight trucks and passenger vehicles, but they are also a conduit for most bikeways and walkways, and they also serve transit buses. The OTP acknowledges that these routes are essential for connecting communities and supporting commerce and that maintaining this system must be balanced with completing the biking and walking system, adding electric vehicle charging infrastructure, expanding transit service and more.  

    The OTP was developed over the past 18 months with the help of Oregonians with diverse backgrounds and experiences, including those representing partner tribes, jurisdictions, agencies and key audience groups. Three major public comment periods ensured input from across the state and in multiple languages. By focusing on the users of the transportation system, the plan includes policies that create benefits for all people and communities.  

    “The updated OTP charts a path for a different future for Oregon,” said Amanda Pietz, ODOT administrator for the Policy, Data and Analysis Division, where the plan is housed. “We heard loud and clear that the plan is only as useful as it is implemented. The OTP will direct the work of ODOT, but additional partners – including tribes, other state agencies, local governments, members of the private sector and more – will be critical in working with us to implement the policies in this plan so we can fully realize its vision.” 

    The final adopted OTP and related information are available on the website

    Commission Adopts Statewide Transportation Improvement Program for 2024-2027 

    The Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan, or STIP, is ODOT’s four-year capital improvement program. It includes projects on federal, state, city and county transportation systems (highway, passenger rail, freight, public transportation, bicycle and pedestrian), and projects in the National Parks, National Forests and Indian tribal lands. 

    The Oregon Transportation Commission and ODOT develop the STIP in coordination with a wide range of key audiences and the public. 

    The OTC’s action to adopt the Final 2024-2027 STIP enables ODOT to forward the document to the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration for their final approval.  

    For more information, contact Shelley M. Snow , 503-881-5362, or Kevin Glenn, 503-910-5965


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