Support for this research was provided through a contract between Portland State University’s Institute on Aging and Center for Transportation Studies and the Association of Oregon Counties, with funding from the Oregon Department of Transportation, Public Transit Division.
Rural transit -- Oregon, Transportation -- Planning -- Oregon, Local transit -- Oregon -- Planning, Bus lines -- Oregon
The purpose of the research reported was to identify the current status and needs for general public transportation in Oregon’s rural areas, as well as opportunities and barriers (e.g., funding, governance issues, and leadership) to expanding services over a 20 year period. Oregon is a largely rural state. This lack of density poses problems for the provision of public transit, whether through fixed route or demand response service. People living in the rural areas and who lack cars and access to public transportation are at a strong disadvantage. With no access to these transit resources, they may be limited to relying on friends, family, or associates for travel. This reliance may severely limit the flexibility of travel and limit those individuals’ independence. When transit is not available, older adults and people with disabilities, in particular, experience more restrictions on their ability to travel and must rely more heavily on informal networks or formal supportive services to meet their needs. Rural public transit also plays a vital role for agricultural workers. The lack of transit options in rural areas, therefore, leaves many rural citizens at a tremendous economic as well as social disadvantage. Improved rural transit service could enhance the quality of life for Oregon’s rural residents and contribute to the state’s economic well-being by facilitating travel to jobs and shops, access to medical services, volunteering, and other forms of participation in the community. The research reported here identifies the current status and needs for general public transportation in Oregon’s rural areas, as well as opportunities and barriers (e.g., funding, governance issues, and leadership) to expanding services over a 20 year period.
Jennifer Dill and Margaret Neal, "Rural transit in Oregon: Current and future needs, Final report," prepared for the Association of Oregon Counties, on behalf of the Oregon Department of Transportation, January 2010.