One of the best ideas for improving transportation in Oregon is glaringly absent from the state’s transportation funding package: Better passenger and freight rail lines between Portland and Eugene.
At one of four hearings on House Bill 2017-3 held at the State Capitol this week, representatives from the Association of Oregon and Rail Transit Advocates took the opportunity to remind lawmakers about this fact.
While the package being debated includes over $900 million in earmarks for highway expansions in the name of “congestion relief,” advocates with AORTA feel like the bill will cause Oregon to fall even further behind our west coast neighbors.
“Go big or go home,” is how AORTA rep Dan McFarling began his testimony in front of the Joint Transportation Preservation and Modernization Committee on Monday. “Rail programs in Washington and California are going big. We are treading water.”