Why Increased Transit Funding?

Throughout the nation, state funding for transit is an important source of revenue for transit agencies. However, since 2010, state allocated funding for transit in Oregon has dropped dramatically. During this same time period, the rest of the nation has trended up, painting a clear picture that Oregon is heading in the wrong direction.

State funding of public transit, 2010-2014

Source: AASHTO Survey of State Funding for Public Transportation (2014)

Nationwide, states that invest in transit have better, more effective services, and it is only with support from local, federal and state funding sources that Oregon will be able to meet the land use, transportation and livability challenges of today. 

As national numbers indicate, other states have been putting more and more money into their transit systems. However, when looking at the change in each state's transit funding from 2010 to 2014, Oregon comes in dead last, having cut their funding from $28.16/person in 2010 to $8.23/person in 2014, or a -70.8% decrease.

Change in State Transit Funding per Capita from 2010-2014

Source: AASHTO Survey of State Funding for Public Transportation (2014); U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division Note: Alabama, Arizona, Hawaii and Utah received no state funding during this period

Source: AASHTO Survey of State Funding for Public Transportation (2014); U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division

Note: Alabama, Arizona, Hawaii and Utah received no state funding during this period

As the trends would indicate, some of our closest state peers have distanced themselves from Oregon in terms of their investment in transit. California and Minnesota, together with Oregon, are considered some of the more progressive states when it comes to transit. Both states have made major investments in transit over the past five years, but Oregon has continued to decline. What are they doing, that we aren't?

Greater Minnesota Transit Plan & Investment Plan

In 2009, MnDOT completed the Greater Minnesota Transit Plan, a 20-year strategic plan, that identified future transit need and demand for service throughout the state. And in 2011, they implemented the Greater Minnesota Transit Investment Plan, beginning an aggressive state funding program. Since then, funding has steadily increased for transit systems to the level needed to meet at least 80% of total transit service needs in Minnesota by 2015, and 90% by 2025.

State transit funding per capita, 2010-2014

Source: AASHTO Survey of State Funding for Public Transportation (2014); U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division

Source: AASHTO Survey of State Funding for Public Transportation (2014); U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division