Oregon traffic comes with big price tag

Associated Oregon Industries
Oregon’s largest business advocate

Oregon’s transportation system serves as the backbone of the state’s economy. Without a strong backbone, the body cannot remain upright. Nobody knows this better than businesses. Transportation dependent businesses understand that a well-maintained, resilient, and efficient network of highways, rail, air and waterborne transportation is essential to keep Oregon’s economic interests upright.

A recent study, sponsored in part by AOI, analyzed and quantified the influence transportation congestion has on Oregon’s economy. The study identified current regional economic data of the state and compared two scenarios: 1) a congested future based on no additional transportation revenues, and 2) an improved future that includes new financial resources. The analysis showed that it is imperative for Oregon to invest in transportation infrastructure in order to stay competitive, regionally and globally. In particular, the results demonstrated Oregon’s overall reliance on the state’s transportation system to move goods, ensure access to labor and increase productivity impact profits and overall revenues accruing to the state for vital public services.

More specifically, the study made the following findings:

$300 billion: Value of all goods moved in Oregon on all modes of transportation in 2012;
346,400: Number of transportation-related and transportation-dependent jobs in Oregon in 2013;
36.9 million: Total annual hours of travel time saved in Oregon if additional transportation investments are made. This equals 27 hours per household;
8,300: Oregon jobs generated as a result of additional transportation investments by 2040;
$928 million: Additional Oregon annual economic output/ sales generated by businesses due to an improved transportation system by 2040;
$1.1 billion: Annual income and non-monetary benefits of additional transportation investments to Oregon, or $788 per household, by year 2040;
$2.40: The potential return for every $1 invested in the state’s transportation system.

Additionally, removing, and even reducing, traffic congestion has many benefits including environmental. For instance, in 2009 the Center for Environmental Research and Technology at the University of California, Riverside found that traffic-management strategies could reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 30%. Simply put, a more efficient transportation system will equate to lower carbon emissions – a common legislative goal. You may review the report here.

These numbers not only demonstrate the importance of investing in transportation infrastructure, but identify the benefits to all Oregonian’s.

As legislative priorities this session continue to take shape, AOI will work with legislators to find opportunities to move Oregon’s economy forward by investing in transportation infrastructure and easing costly congestion.

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