Portland State University’s Institute on Aging and Center for Transportation Studies, along with the Population Research Center, were contracted by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), via the Association of Counties, to project the transportation needs and associated costs for elders and people with disabilities from now to 2030. The study also identified and assessed the feasibility of funding alternatives to address the needs identified. Conducted by a multidisciplinary team of faculty and graduate students, the project was guided by a work group whose membership consisted of ODOT and Department of Human Services (DHS) employees and other stakeholders, and by a steering committee composed of various other stakeholders. Both groups provided feedback, ensured the interests of affected parties were addressed, and provided a forum for public input. There also was a public comment period.
Existing sources of information were used, including census data, studies identified through an extensive review of the literature, statewide reports such as the Oregon DHS report on the Future of Long Term Care, locally adopted transportation plans, and ODOT public transit operations data. Once the use of and costs pertaining to existing transit service were established, the gap between the current level of service delivery and unmet needs for service was determined, and cost projections were made based on both, using an inflation factor determined in concert with the advisory groups. The findings and policy implications of the study are described, along with future research needs.