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Why do we need a Vision for Transit?

Transit is a lifeline for many. Despite recent declines in transit ridership, many in our Washington County community rely on transit to get to work, school, medical appointments and other key destinations. Our community needs affordable and reliable transportation options.

Our population and employment is growing. Washington County’s population is expected to increase 41-55% by 2055. The number of jobs is expected to double.Transit needs to be a viable option to meet growing travel demands and to make our transportation network more effective.

Local and regional climate and equity goals demand action now. Improving transit to encourage ridership supports our local and regional climate, equity and transportation goals. Our communities must act now to encourage more people to use transit for more trips to support the 2023 Regional Transportation Plan, which seeks to triple transit use from 4.1% in 2020 to 12.2% by 2045.

State and regional policies are highlighting the need to prioritize transit investments. The Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities (CFEC) rules requires adopting strategies and programs to better manage of parking or removal of requirements to provide parking as a part of new developments. These two policies will require enhanced transit options Oregon Tolling, which may result in tolls collected on freeways, may also increase demand for transit. A prioritized list of transit projects is needed to offer viable travel options for those potentially impacted by tolling.

    What are the benefits of the Vision for Transit?

    The Vision is to improve access to frequent service to/from where people live and employment centers, and to improve the travel time and reliability of transit service.

    • Only 20% of the population (2020) has access to frequent transit service.
      Vision for Transit recommendations will increase this to more than 50% by 2040.
    • Only 30% of jobs are within a half-mile walk of frequent service.
      Vision for Transit recommendation will increase this to nearly 70% by 2040.
    • Only 40% of major employers are within a half-mile walk of frequent service.
      Vision for Transit recommendations will increase this to nearly 90% by 2040.
    • Only 20% of the population within Metro Equity Focus Areas (EFAs) has access to frequent service.
      Vision for Transit recommendations will increase this to more than 60% by 2040.
    • Only 45% of the population within TriMet equity focus areas (Census block groups in the top quartile of TriMet Equity Index) has access to frequent service.
      Vision for Transit recommendations will increase this to nearly 85% by 2040.