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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)
Tillamook County Transportation District (TCTD) is the designated QE for Tillamook 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.
Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC)
Qualified Entities are required to have a STIF advisory committee that consists of at least 5 members who represent the diverse interests of the District’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 TCTD Board of Directors. Tillamook County Transportation District’s STIF advisory committee is called the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC). Below are links to a TAC Committee Bylaws and Roster.
FY 2019-21 STIF Plan Accomplishments
Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic, most of the elements of the TCTD FY 2019-21 Plan the District was able to implement the following elements of the Plan: 1) TCTD purchased 3 low floor buses to be used on the Tillamook Town Loop and for new service to the Port of Tillamook Bay. Two additional intercity buses were purchased and have been in-service on the Portland Coastliner service since June 2020. Currently, the District is in the process of taking delivery of a replacement dial-a-ride van and two additional coaches to be used on the Coastliner route to Portland. 2) The CARE Low Income Bus Pass program provide up to 10 bus passes each month to individuals residing in low income households. 3) STIF Service Planning resulted in a sustainable Port of Tillamook Bay (POTB) service plan and included the prioritization of new projects to be included in the TCTD FY 2021-23 STIF Plan. 4) TCTD used STIF monies to fund the benefits for the creation of 2 FT dial-a-ride positions to be stationed in the northern ad southern portions of Tillamook County. 5) Holiday service was provide system-wide on Memorial, Independence and Labor Days. Ridership on these holidays was about 75% of normal weekday ridership and thus exceeded expectations.
TCTD FY 2021-23 STIF Plan
Over the past 18-months TCTD conducted a planning process designed to establish a long-term sustainable service plan to the Port of Tillamook Bay, and develop a prioritized list of additional service enhancement and community needs. Developing the projects to be considered included public outreach efforts that included surveying bus riders, a community-wide online survey, and meetings with the TCTD Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC). The District FY 2021-23 Plan recommends funding several elements of the District’s previous STIF Plan along with additional reduced fare programs and service enhancements identified by bus riders and community members. The District’s FY 2021-23 STIF Plan goals and project priorities are listed below.
Adoption of the FY 2021-2023 STIF Plan
The TCTD Transportation Advisory Committee reviewed the DRAFT STIF Plan on December 1, 2020. The TAC met a second time on January 18, 2021 and voted to recommend the TCTD Board of Directors approved the Plan. On January 21, 2021 the TCTD Board of Directors adopted the District’s FY2021-23 STIF Plan. Below is a link to Resolution 21-01 adopting the District’s and a summary of the 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
TCTD used the ODOT “Estimating Low Income Households Guidance” Method # 1 to determine the number of households below 200% for Tillamook County. This analysis was conducted at the Census Tract Level to determine which communities had both the highest number of low income households and to evaluate which geographic areas had the highest percentage of low income households.
The study concluded there are about 4,100 low income households throughout Tillamook County, which represents 40% of all households in the County. The western portion of the City of Tillamook which extends westward to Cape Meares and Cloverdale are where the highest percentage of low income households are located. Meanwhile, there are 1,063 low income households in the eastern portion the City of Tillamook, which represents about 25% of the low income households in all of Tillamook County.
The Census Tracts were consolidated into North, Central and South geographic areas. This analysis illustrated the highest percentage of low income households (44%) are located in the southern geographic area of Tillamook County. Here’s a link to the District’s Low Income Household estimate:
Each of the District’s STIF projects will benefit all households under the 200% federal poverty guideline. For example, the fleet replacement and fleet expansion will provide vehicles that provide service throughout the County. The STIF Planning project will provide an analysis of two service enhancements listed in the District’s Long Range Transit Development Plan that expands service to the Port of Tillamook Bay (POTB). The two service enhancements will be to increase transit service within the City of Tillamook and serve POTB every hour. The second option is to create new route that serves Pacific City and Tierra Del Mar via Sand Lake Road. This new route would be scheduled to serve the POTB on each outbound and inbound trip. Next, the creation of two full time dial-a-ride positions dedicated to the northern and southern rural portions of Tillamook County would create reliable driver availability to serve the residents living there. Moreover, expansion of the CARE Bus Pass Program will result in low income families and individuals with up to 10 bus passes per month in order for them to have affordable access to public transportation travel to jobs, medical appointments, social services and shopping. Finally, providing holiday service (Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day) that operates on the same days as the NW Oregon Transit Alliance (NWOTA) partners will enable low income families who rely upon public transportation to travel to their jobs, etc.
Zip Code Analysis
TCTD also used the ODOT “Estimating Low Income Households Guidance” Method # 1 to determine the number of households below 200% for Tillamook County by Zip Code. This analysis was also used to conduct at the Zip Code Level to determine which communities had both the highest number of low income households and to evaluate which geographic areas had the highest percentage of low income households.