The Oregon Transportation Commission met on Tuesday and decided to advance key elements of the low-income toll program and a report requested by Gov. Tina Kotek

Bend, OR – According to the state officials, there are more than 300 toll programs in the United States, and Oregon will be the first in the nation to have a low-income toll program on day one of operations.

State officials also said that this program will serve low-income travelers who cannot change their travel schedules or who travel frequently on the interstates.

Importantly, the program will balance impacts to other travelers while still achieving overall program goals to reduce traffic congestion and raise revenue for transportation improvements.

The commission approved several elements to advance the low-income toll program and a draft set of administrative rules for public feedback in 2024.

The drafts were developed following more than a year of study and input from two advisory committees and thousands of public comments.

Key commitments include:

  • Provide customers living in Oregon or Washington whose household income is up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level at least a 50% discount on tolls.
  • Analyze whether additional discounts for households earning up to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level can be offered and still meet the toll program’s congestion management, revenue, safety, and equity goals.
  • Exempt members of specified federally recognized tribes and tribal government vehicles from paying tolls, in recognition of their sovereignty and to provide access to historic lands. Extending this to a number of tribal governments, beyond what had been guaranteed in federal treaties, would be a first in the nation.
  • Exempt public transit, military, and emergency response vehicles.

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