Governor Kate Brown to sign transportation package

Salem, OR. — Governor Kate Brown will be traveling to Medford, Bend, Ontario, Eugene and Portland next week to sign House Bill 2017.

Earning bipartisan Legislative support this past session, House Bill 2017 offers a transportation package that is made up of a $5.3 billion, 10-year investment in roads, rail, bridges and ports throughout the state.

Governor Brown believes the bill will help to create 16,000 construction jobs while helping businesses to grow.

“This transportation package is a roadmap to Oregon’s future,” Governor Brown said. “Not only will this package improve the safety and condition of our roads and bridges, it will support thousands of family wage jobs and help local business get their goods to market more efficiently.”

With HB 2017, Medford will be receiving $4.5 million a year to fund new transit services in the region. Governor Brown will be taking a bus tour with Medford’s Rogue Valley Transit District to understand the importance of transit for students and the regional workforce. The hope is to prevent spikes in road congestion due to a growth in population.

In Bend, congestion along U.S. 97 will be addressed. The Bend area will receive $50 million from the transportation package to improve the highway and the Cooley Road intersection. HB 2017 also designates funding to improve safety on U.S. 97 in the Terrebonne area and $4.2 million a year will go toward public transit in Deschutes County.

House Bill 2017 will be giving $1.4 million in road and transit investments for Ontario and the Malheur County area. In particular, Malheur County will receive $26 million for an intermodal freight facility. The idea is to allow local agriculture products to move to the market sooner.

As for Eugene, House Bill 2017 will create an Electric Vehicle (EV) Rebate Program to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The program is expected to accelerate EV sales and use throughout the state. The Charge Ahead EV Rebate Program included in the transportation package provides financial assistance for low – and moderate-income Oregonians to replace older vehicles with new or used EV’s.

Finally, Governor Brown will end her statewide transportation tour in Portland. HB 2017 includes investments in highway improvement projects throughout the metro region, as well as expanded transit service. Half of all funding will go directly to cities and counties to complete local communities’ high priority road maintenance and safety improvements. Funding will also go toward completing bike lanes, sidewalks, and crossings near schools.

“For the first time, Oregon will have a dedicated source of funding to transit, which can be a vehicle out of poverty for many working families,” Governor Brown said. “I appreciate the determination of Legislators and the business community to work toward this shared vision of improving the economy of Oregon, while affirming our commitment to innovate, take climate change, and build a more resilient state for future generations.”

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