Home Back Issues June 2013 Oregon: state of green

Oregon: state of green

| Print |  Email
Articles - June 2013
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Article Index
Oregon: state of green
Building
Utilities
Transportation
Manufacturing
Science and research

Transportation: Growing bikes, trains and electric vehicles

Number of green jobs: 2,640

Oregon, and Portland in particular, have earned a national reputation for promoting innovative approaches to cycling, transit and other low-emission transportation — even in urban landscapes that, like the rest of America, are still dominated by cars.

In 2011 bicycling represented an average of 2.8% of all trips across the Portland metro area, with that figure ranging as high as 9.8% in parts of Portland proper. Bike commuting (trips taken solely for work purposes) more than quadrupled to 4.6% — some 50,000 rides daily — since the survey was last conducted in 1994. Those figures remain meager compared to the city’s goal to make bikes account for a quarter of all trips by 2030, yet Portland is in a leading national position when it comes to bicycles’ share of traffic.

Regional investment in bike infrastructure appears to be paying off. A study released in May by Travel Oregon, the state’s tourism agency, found that bicycle tourism injects $400 million annually into the Oregon economy.

Despite a rash of service cuts and fare increases in the past few years, the state’s predominant transit agency tells a similar story of growth. The agency’s 2011 per-capita ridership was seventh in the nation, despite Portland being the 24th largest metro area in the country. Fourth-quarter 2012 data from the American Public Transportation Association confirms TriMet’s average weekday ridership is comfortably above that of similarly sized cities like Sacramento and San Antonio, and even above much larger metros like San Diego and Houston.

Oregon governments have committed significant resources to expanding transit rail systems, pitching in roughly half the cost of the $148 million extension of the Portland Streetcar and a $745 million investment in the $1.5 billion Portland-Milwaukie light-rail extension. These efforts, however, faced significant opposition from many residents and public officials disputing the projects’ usefulness.

In other low-carbon transportation, Oregon has assembled significant funding for electric vehicles, including $700,000 in federal stimulus funding and $2 million from a federal TIGER II grant to build an extensive network of fast chargers. More than 2,000 electric vehicles are registered here — up from 400 in 2010 — and only Hawaii has more charging stations per capita. A Northwest Economic Research Center study released in January estimated the state’s electric vehicle industry generates $267 million in gross economic activity and employs more than 400 people.

In Oregon the transportation of people and goods accounts for the largest share of greenhouse-gas emissions — about 38%. But that number is flattening, and not just because the recession caused a reduction in vehicle miles driven, says Angus Duncan, chair of Oregon’s Global Warming Commission. “We’re seeing people drive less and drive more efficient cars.” Duncan notes the state has set a 2050 goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 75% below 1990 levels. “We think we have a fighting chance of getting there,” he says. “That’s in part because we expect zero-emission and electric vehicles to be a dominant form of transportation.”

0613 StateOfGreen Table02

0613 StateOfGreen Map02



 

More Articles

Spreading the wealth

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
HiResBY PAIGE PARKER

A money management firm broadens its reach. 


Read more...

The more they change, the more they stay the same

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
100-best-collageBY BRANDON SAWYER

The 100 Best Companies get more creative with perks and more generous with benefits; employees seek empowering relations with management and coworkers.


Read more...

Speeding up science

News
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
02.25.14 Thumbnail MedwasteBY JOE ROJAS-BURKE | OB BLOGGER

The medical research enterprise wastes tens of billions of dollars a year on irrelevant studies. It’s time to fix it.


Read more...

Fuel's gold

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY SOPHIA BENNETT

The coastal town of Coos Bay appears poised to land every economic development director’s dream: a single employer that will bring hundreds of family-wage jobs and millions in tax revenue. 


Read more...

How to handle the unexpected

Contributed Blogs
Friday, March 28, 2014
03.28.14 thumb disasterBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

The next mysterious (or disastrous) event could be one that you or your team might suddenly need to respond to, probably under intense scrutiny.


Read more...

Video: Kickstarting Oregon business

News
Thursday, March 27, 2014
02.04.14 Thumbnail VideoBY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR

Watch this OB Original Video about three Oregon companies and how crowd-funding "kickstarted" their business ideas.


Read more...

Green your workplace

News
Thursday, April 03, 2014
100Green14logo200oxBY OB STAFF

Learn how to green your workplace and lower your environmental footprint at the office. Oregon Business presents a two-hour "Greening Your Workplace" seminar on May 28th, 2014 at the Nines Hotel in Portland.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS