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|Articles - June 2013|
|Tuesday, May 28, 2013|
Page 4 of 6
Transportation: Growing bikes, trains and electric vehicles
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.”
Wednesday, August 05, 2015
BY KEN MAES
A huge migration from Northern California has contributed to average 16% growth per year since 1990.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE
Oregon is home to an abundance of gritty warehouses reborn as trendy office spaces, as well as crafty hipsters turned entrepreneurs. Does the combination yield an equally bounteous office products sector? Not so much. Occupying the limited desk jockey space are Field Notes, a spinoff of Portland’s Draplin Design Company, and Schuttenworks, known for whittling Apple device stands. For a full complement of keyboard trays, docking stations and mouse pads, check out the GroveMade line, guaranteed to boost the cachet of even the lowliest cubicle drone.
Friday, August 14, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
17 airlines make stops at Portland International Airport, but not all are created equal when it comes to customer service.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Ask any college student: Textbook prices have skyrocketed out of control. Online education startup Lumen Learning aims to bring them down to earth.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
BY JASON NORRIS | CFA
Earlier this month, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced they were going to devalue their currency, the Renminbi. While the amount of the targeted change was to be roughly 2 percent, investors read a lot more into the move. The Renminbi had been gradually appreciating against the U.S. dollar (see chart) as to attempt to alleviate concerns of being labeled a currency manipulator.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR
How do you put a baby on the cover of a business magazine without it looking too cutesy?
Monday, August 03, 2015
BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
You may have noticed the photos of our rural health innovators departed from the typical Oregon Business aesthetic.
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Transforming the culture of Oregon’s educational leadership.
The Board dismissed a petition related to efforts to unionize the Northwestern University football team.
Every once in a while we receive a letter in the (fictional) mailbag that is tough to describe and quite compelling. This week, Isabel, the new HR manager at LabCo (and someone who is new to HR), wants to know whether she may fire the owner’s son for having an Oregon medical marijuana card. In passing, Isabel also makes a number of alarming admissions about her motivation. Here is Isabel’s nerve-racking question and our response to it.
Oregon Sick Leave is here, and changes to the federal white-collar worker regulations are on the way. This workshop will prepare you for both. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to start planning now for the future impact on your operations and finances.
Presented by OEN + CENTRL + YESpdx.
This Roundtable will cover numerous issues under the employer "shared responsibility" rules of the Affordable Care Act, including how to track the "full-time" status of variable-hour employees, temporary or seasonal employees, and employees who experience a change in status or a break in service. Additionally, we will provide a brief overview of Code sections 6055 and 6056, which require most mid-sized and large employers to submit their first information reports to the IRS in early 2016 regarding the health insurance coverage being offered to employees. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to prepare for the future impact of the shared responsibility rules on your operations and finances.