June 4, 2020
SALEM, Ore. – As COVID-19 brought a halt to life as we know it, revenue for road funding took a steep decline as a large number of Oregonians began working from home and driving less. The crisis only intensified the road funding problem that Oregon identified nearly 20 years ago.
Is that news to you? You’re not alone. ODOT’s research in 2017 showed that many Oregonians still don’t know how transportation is funded, or that a funding problem exists. So, as communities around the state begin re-opening, ODOT is resuming its Keep Oregon Connected campaign to help Oregonians understand how roads and bridges are funded and the need for OReGO, the state’s voluntary pay-by-the-mile program.
Today, ODOT launched an online open house to talk with Oregon drivers about the fuel tax they pay (36 cents per gallon), what that funding does and why it’s in trouble. The online open house also discusses the state of our roads and bridges today and why paying by the mile is more sustainable than a fuel tax.
“As the world continues to navigate the effects of COVID-19, it is more important than ever to plan for the future of the roads and bridges that keep Oregon connected,” said Travis Brouwer, ODOT’s Assistant Director. “Our new normal means we’re taking all communications about OReGO online—with several platforms for Oregonians to learn about OReGO and ask questions.”
The online open house is available through June 22, 2020 at openhouse.oregondot.org/orego. No sign up is required and visitors can access it at any time. Clicking through the online open house takes less than five minutes, and visitors can share their feedback and questions about the program.
In addition, ODOT launched a refreshed website, MyOReGO.org, where people can learn more about the program, sign up for the interest list, or enroll as an OReGO participant.