Senators announce over $42 million in funding for rural Oregon transit

Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced that the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) will receive nearly $42.7 million in funding to support rural public transportation operations and projects—including coronavirus response efforts—in communities throughout the state.

The funding will be allocated through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which Congress approved last month. The Lincoln County Transportation Service District will receive $610,918, which is the second most of any transportation district behind only Yamhill County ($814,023).

“As we continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic, countless Oregonians are still relying on public transportation to report to their essential jobs, buy groceries, and get to their pharmacies,” said Merkley. “I’m grateful to our dedicated public transportation workers for everything they’re doing on the frontlines to support our communities during this tumultuous time.

“I am going to keep fighting for the funding and resources—like these grants—that will help Oregonians in every corner of our state get where they’re going safely.”

Specifically, the grants will provide for rural operations, preventive maintenance work, project administration, intercity bus operations, and direct and indirect state administration costs related to the response to the coronavirus public health emergency.

“Rural Oregonians depending on public transit to get around their communities need to know that option remains viable during this public health crisis,” Wyden said. “More needs to be done of course to help these Oregonians and the public transit employees working hard under very challenging conditions, but I am gratified these resources are now on the road to help our state’s rural communities.”