Governor Brown visits Medford to sign transportation bill

Medford, Ore. — Oregon Governor Kate Brown made a stop in Medford Monday afternoon to promote the state’s new $5.3 billion dollar transportation bill.

The Medford area stands to receive $4.5 million a year of that to fund new transit services.

Monday afternoon was a historic day for those involved in Southern Oregon public transit as Governor Kate Brown officially signed House Bill 2017.

“It’s important if we want to keep Oregon’s economy humming to invest in our transportation infrastructure,” Governor Kate Brown said.

Governor Brown says money from the transportation package will go toward traffic and highway improvements, critical seismic safety in the case of a natural disaster, and specifically in Southern Oregon she is counting on the bill to offer more public transportation for businesses, students and those in poverty.

“We want to make sure that our kids are getting to school safely, that people are getting to their jobs safely and that products are getting to market effectively and efficiently,” Governor Brown said.

Julie Brown has been the general manager of the Rogue Valley Transportation District for 10 years.

She says she is thrilled about the signing of the bill.

“We will be able to almost double the service that we provide now,” Julie Brown said.

The money from the transportation bill will increase RVTD’s budget by four million dollars a year.

Brown says she’s been trying to add services to public transportation in Southern Oregon for 21 years.

But now, the real work comes.

In fact, RVTD is trying to put together a long range plan through the year 2042.

“We’ve never had this problem before. It was always cutting service. Adding service is very difficult so we want to do it right,” Brown said.

General manager Julie Brown says RVTD won’t see the money until January of 2019.

She hopes to use that time to create structure and hear from the community.

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