Regional flexible funds come from two federal transportation funding sources: the Surface Transportation Block Grant and Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality programs. These programs allow discretion on how the monies are spent – hence the term “flexible.” This flexibility allows for greater focus on local priorities and innovative solutions to transportation challenges.
After a three-year discussion with the community to identify the region’s most urgent transportation needs, four investment priorities emerged in development of the 2018 Regional Transportation Plan. Projects funded through the 2025-2027 RFFA are to align with the four primary RTP investment priorities. The four priorities are:
- equity: reduce disparities and barriers faced by communities of color, people in poverty, and people with low English proficiency
- safety: reduce fatal and severe injury crashes, particularly focusing on the High Crash Corridor network and equity focus areas identified in the Regional Transportation Plan
- climate: expand transit, complete regional active transportation networks, and leverage emerging technology to meet Climate Smart Strategy policies
- congestion: manage congestion and travel demand through low-cost, high value solutions.
The regional funds are allocated through a two-step process. This ensures the region is investing in the system in accordance with Regional Transportation Plan direction and the regional flexible funding objectives. Step 1 funds a series of ongoing commitments that the region has determined are critical to meeting federal requirements and our regional goals. Step 2 includes capital investments identified by local jurisdictions. Jurisdictions apply for Step 2 funds through a project selection process.
Project selection process
Call for projects: Winter 2021/2022
Proposals due: Late winter/early spring 2022
Technical evaluation and risk assessment: Spring 2022
Public comment: Late spring 2022
County coordinating committee/City of Portland recommendations: Summer 2021
TPAC/JPACT discussion and action: Late-summer and fall 2022
Metro Council action: Fall 2022