Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund (STIF)
In 2017 the Oregon Legislature established the Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund (STIF) to expand public transportation services throughout Oregon. STIF Formula Funds are distributed to Qualified Entities (QE) based on taxes paid within their respective boundaries.
Qualified Entity (QE)
Columbia County Rider (CCR) is the designated QE for Columbia County and has the responsibility of working with a local STIF Advisory Committee to determine how best to use STIF Formula Funds. STIF monies may be used for public transportation purposes that include planning, operations, bus purchases and administration of the STIF Program.
STIF Advisory Committee
Qualified Entities are required to have a STIF advisory committee that consists of at least 5 members who represent the diverse interests of the County’s geographic service area. The STIF Advisory Committee’s primary role is to review proposed projects and rank them in the order of priority and make recommendations to the CCR Advisory Committee. Below are the County’s STIF Advisory Committee Members.
CCR is seeking to recruit additional committee members. Below are the STIF Committee Member Job Description, Bylaws, and Committee and Member Application. If you have the interest and the time to attend meetings, we’d welcome you completing and submitting an application to be appointed to the Committee.
STIF Plan Development
Columbia County Rider’s STIF Plan and Budget projects were selected from the County’s adopted plans listed below:
STIF Advisory Committee Meeting
On February 19, 2019, the County’s STIF Advisory Committee met to discuss proposed projects and rank them in order of priority. Below is the Committee’s Agenda Packet:
The STIF Advisory Committee determined the highest priority was to use STIF Formula to increase Portland Medical transit service from twice per month to once per week. The Committee’s second priority was to increase Dial-A-Ride service hours with an additional five hours. More runs on the Flex route was the third priority in order to facilitate more options for riders to get to and from their locations. Expanding services in Vernonia to five days per week was the number four priority for the committee. Priority number five for the committee was creating a low income/honored citizen discount program to reduce fares by $1 to this demographic. Finally, the STIF Committee ranked using a portion of the funding for grant matching as the 6th priority.
CCR Citizen Advisory Committee Adoption of the 2019-2021 STIF Plan
The CCR Citizen Advisory Committee Special Meeting was held on April 2, 2019. Below is a link to Special Meeting Minutes along with the Columbia County Commissioners meeting minutes adopting CCR’s STIF plan.
Estimating Low Income Households
Under statute, QE’s are required to identify the amount of STIF Formula funds that are allocated to improve services to a high percentage of low-income households. Low income families are considered to be those below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. A STIF Plan must contain an explanation of how the plan defines and identifies communities with a high percentage of low income households, and indicate how projects improve transit service to these communities.
Census Tract Analysis
Columbia County defines low income households as follows:
1. “Areas of High Percentage of Low-Income Households” shall mean geographic areas within Columbia County that are determined to have a high percentage of low-income households. Pursuant to OAR 732-040-0035(2)(a), it shall be the responsibility of the Advisory Committee to gather data and to seek public input, and to make a determination as to the areas of Columbia County in which high percentages of low-income households exist, and to publish said determination in its Committee minutes and printed public materials.
Utilizing the guidance provided by ODOT, Columbia County has used the 2012-2016 US Census data methodology to determine the percentage of low-income households. Additionally Columbia County has utilized Remix to verify low-income households along selected routes. Because the County’s project is to increase Dial a Ride service, and because Dial a Ride serves all parts of the county, the total number of low income households was used.
Using the above Method, the County has determined thereare 16,396 Individuals below the 200% poverty level. With 2.6 persons per household on average in Columbia County, there are approximately 6,306 Households below the 200% poverty level, which represents 33.4% of all households in the county.
For the Line 3 deviated Fixed Route, CCR utilized Remix along with the US census data for the low income household and calculated there are 4,359 households within ½ mile of a transit stop. After applying 39.1% in 200% Poverty, the analysis determined there are 1,704 Households in 200% Poverty within ½ mile of a transit stop.
For the Line 6 Vernonia deviated Fixed Route, CCR utilized Remix along with the US census data for the low income household calculations to determine there are 4,225 Households within ½ mile of a transit stop, with a total population of 10,985. Applying 32.6% in 200% poverty, CCR’s analysis determined there are 1,373 households in 200% Poverty within ½ mile of a transit stop within CCR’s service area.