HOUSE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION

 

 

January 26, 2005   Hearing Room C

1:00 P.M.     Tapes  6 - 7

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Rep. George Gilman, Chair

Rep. Terry Beyer, Vice-Chair

Rep. Chuck Burley, Vice-Chair

Rep. Deborah Boone

Rep. Scott Bruun

Rep. Dave Hunt

 

MEMBER EXCUSED:             Rep. Kim Thatcher

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  John Houser, Committee Administrator

Mike Reiley, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:

                                                Transit Presentations – Informational Meeting

                                               

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 6, A

002

Chair Gilman

Calls the meeting to order at 1:01 p.m. Opens the informational meeting on Transit Presentations.

TRANSIT PRESENTATIONS – INFORMATIONAL MEETING

006

Roger Martin

Executive Director, Oregon Transit Association. Submits and summarizes “The Economic Impact of Public Transit in Oregon” (EXHIBIT A). Explains the development of public transportation in Oregon. Highlights the transportation districts throughout Oregon. Commends the work of the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). Introduces Fred Hansen, Ken Hamm, and Heather Ornelas.

080

Fred Hansen

General Manager, TriMet. Submits and summarizes prepared TriMet Overview and Facts about TriMet (EXHIBIT B). Describes bus and light-rail operations and services to the elderly and disabled. Describes the future plans for TriMet including the Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) line along I-205. Highlights economic benefits, federal funding, private funding, and freight mobility. Notes that TriMet is the most fuel efficient transit agency in the United States.

327

Rep. Hunt

Describes the change in attitude among his constituents toward light-rail over the last several years.

351

Chair Gilman

Asks if TriMet offers free transit passes for those attending events in Portland such as conventions.

360

Hansen

Describes “fareless square” in downtown Portland and passes associated with conventions.

390

Doug Barber

Lane Transit District (LTD). Explains the bus rapid transit project that was started by LTD.

TAPE  7, A

001

Ken Hamm

General Manager, LTD. Submits prepared information on LTD bus rapid transit plan (EXHIBIT C).

030

Barber

Displays a video for the committee demonstrating bus rapid transit.

126

Hamm

Describes the LTD bus system and notes that Phase 1 of the bus rapid transit plan is in development in Eugene/Springfield.

136

Barber

Highlights prepared information (EXHIBIT C). Describes the emphasis on economic development along with project development. Notes that Royal Caribbean has located a call center in Springfield and points out their interest in the local transportation system. Explains the new Peace Health medical center and their reliance on LTD for transportation. Discusses the preliminary budget for Phase 2. Highlights the relationship to ConnectOregon. Commends U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio for helping with funding.

200

Heather Ornelas

General Manager, Tillamook County Transportation District. Highlights (EXHIBIT A). Describes the development of public transportation systems in different communities in Oregon. Notes that Tillamook’s ridership has increased 40% over the last year. Mentions the pullout of Greyhound bus lines from rural areas and its effect on public transit. Stresses the need for legislative support for transportation.

306

Rep. Boone

Asks what needs to be done to support rural transit.

308

Ornelas

Describes legislation that will revise ODOT statutes to allow the voids in transportation to be filled and cites the need for legislative support.

335

Roger Martin

Union Pacific (UP) Railroad. Introduces John Gray.

385

John Gray

Executive Director, Interline. Submits a prepared UP Railroad overview (EXHIBIT D).

TAPE 6, B

010

Gray

Begins summarizing the UP overview (EXHIBIT D).

054

Gray

Explains that the rail business is a drive-demand business, relying on the business of its customers.

115

Gray

Explains the importance of the agricultural industry and ports on the lower Columbia River, including the Port of Portland.

250

Gray

Explains that UP invests a great deal of money to support the amount of rail traffic that operates in Oregon.

275

Gray

Describes shortline railroads and the benefits to various communities. Notes that their capital needs grow as they get older.

400

Gray

Explains freight train delays associated with passenger trains if proper investments are not made to support the passenger service.

TAPE 7, B

007

Gray

Notes that $1.25 billion is spent annually on capital maintenance and explains the capital expenditures for rail lines between Eugene and Portland and other lines around Oregon.

091

Rep. Beyer

Asks if maintenance expenditures normally include tunnels.

095

Gray

Explains the maintenance needs of tunnels between Oregon and California to allow them to accommodate modern containers and trains. Explains the flood losses in California.

120

Chair Gilman

Asks if UP and the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) stop in Chicago.

122

Gray

Answers yes.

124

Gilman

Asks how many carriers operate in the eastern United States.

126

Gray

Answers that there are “two large carriers in the east, two large carriers in the west, and two large Canadian carriers.”

130

Rep. Hunt

Asks for an explanation of the specific needs of Oregon railroads.

135

Gray

Answers that there have been some projects coordinated with ODOT to improve passenger rail. Addresses the conflicts between passenger rail and freight lines. Notes the importance of maintenance and development projects to allow trains to move through the network more effectively.

175

John Houser

Committee Administrator. Asks about creating rail corridors in congested areas such as the port areas of Portland and the effect on other modes of transport such as trucking.

180

Gray

Defines “rail corridor” as one that has no highway crossing. Explains that corridors do not interfere with other transportation networks.

210

Martin

Explains coordination with ODOT in rail development projects.

232

Chair Gilman

Closes the informational meeting on Transit Presentations. Adjourns the meeting at 2:38 p.m.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. Transit Presentations, The Economic Impact of Public Transit in Oregon, Roger Martin, 8 pp
  2. Transit Presentations, TriMet Overview and Facts about TriMet, Fred Hansen, 16 pp
  3. Transit Presentations, Lane Transit District information, Ken Hamm, 9 pp
  4. Transit Presentations, Union Pacific Railroad PowerPoint overview, John Gray, 5 pp