information
Memorial Day closure

Most City of Portland offices will be closed Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day.

37620

Resolution

Accelerate transportation decarbonization strategies, establish electric mobility as a near-term Citywide priority, and increase adoption of electric vehicles

Adopted

COUNCIL-ADOPTED CLIMATE EMERGENCY WORKPLAN OUTLINES TRANSPORTATION DECARBONIZATION STRATEGIES 

WHEREAS, the Climate Emergency Declaration (Resolution No. 37494), replaced the 2015 Climate Action Plan (Resolution No. 37135) and established new, more aggressive carbon emissions reductions targets to align with the Paris Agreement to which Council affirmed Portland’s responsibility to reduce carbon emissions 50% or more by 2030 and net zero carbon emissions before 2050; and

WHEREAS, the Climate Emergency Workplan includes strategies and actions to achieve goals and objectives in the Climate Emergency Declaration, the 2035 Comprehensive Plan, the 100 Percent Renewable Energy Resolution (Resolution No. 37289), and bureau strategic plans related to climate change and directs bureaus to advance the following Transportation Decarbonization Priorities: 

  1. T-1: Make low-carbon travel options safe, accessible, and convenient for all Portlanders 
  1. T-2: Use equitably designed pricing strategies and parking management to encourage less driving when people and businesses have other travel options 
  1. T-3: Decouple transportation funding from fossil fuels 
  1. T-4: Make low-carbon transportation options more affordable, especially for those who can least afford them 
  1. T-5: Support state and regional vehicle miles traveled (VMT) reduction policies 
  1. T-6: Make new construction ready for electric vehicle charging 
  1. T-7: Make it easier to use electric vehicles if you can’t charge at home 
  1. T-8: Make freight cleaner 
  1. T-9: Replace petroleum diesel at the pump; and 

WHEREAS, addressing the concerted actions needed to decarbonize the transportation sector will require changes to the status quo, considerable public subsidy, and partnership with local, regional, state, and federal public agencies and private sector partners; and 

TRANSPORTATION DECARBONIZATION POLICY IS UNDERWAY 

WHEREAS, City Code section 3.12.010 establishes that the Portland Bureau of Transportation shall be charged with the responsibility for the operation of the transportation system; and  

WHEREAS, the transportation sector accounts for more than 40% of the region’s greenhouse gas emissions and that contribution continues to grow; and

WHEREAS, the 2035 Portland Transportation System Plan calls for both a reduction in vehicle miles traveled and the electrification of remaining miles traveled to meet climate, safety and equity goals; and

WHEREAS, in 2017, City Council adopted the Portland Electric Vehicle Strategy (Resolution No. 37255) which outlines a coordinated, multi-bureau effort to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, including e-bikes, through nearly 50 actions that encompass charging infrastructure; electrifying fleet, personal, and shared mobility options; innovation and information actions; and economic development actions; and 

WHEREAS, the City has engaged the Oregon Department of Transportation on the development of the state’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Plan to ensure a portion of the $100M investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for electric vehicle charging will benefit the Portland-metro region; and 

WHEREAS, the City of Portland participated in the American Cities Climate Challenge and identified strategies to equitably accelerate our climate impact: improve transit, make cycling safer in the Central City, expand incentives to help Portlanders walk, bike and ride transit; and 

ADDITIONAL TRANSPORTATION ELECTRIFICATION PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS ARE CURRENTLY UNDERWAY 

WHEREAS, the Portland Bureau of Transportation operates or oversees several low-carbon or zero-emission transportation options, including the Portland Streetcar, all electric BIKETOWN, and the E-Scooter program, and provides some EV charging options in City-owned public parking garages; and 

WHEREAS, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and the Portland Bureau of Transportation have recently adopted three code and administrative rule changes to require EV readiness in the new construction of some multi-unit dwellings and to allow for more EV charging in public rights-of-way, including cord covers for residents needing to charge on the street and a permit program to allow companies to install Level 2 chargers on utility poles or curbside; and

WHEREAS, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has launched new webpages to provide guidance about purchasing and charging EVs; and 

WHEREAS, in 2023, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the City of Portland with nearly $2 million as part of the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) grant program to use data and sensors to pilot a Zero Emissions Delivery Zone in Portland; and 

THE CITY NEEDS TO DO MORE, BE MORE COORDINATED, AND FURTHER ACCELERATE ITS PROGRESS 

WHEREAS, the City of Portland recognizes that multiple city bureaus are already working to achieve transportation decarbonization and this coordinated approach must continue; and 

WHEREAS, the Portland Bureau of Transportation acknowledges that switching to zero emission fuel sources is one piece of the City’s Climate Justice strategy to reduce carbon emissions and that the City’s holistic approach also advances goals around safety, equity, health, and economic prosperity by continuing to plan and build connected, 15-minute neighborhoods and reducing vehicle miles traveled; and  

WHEREAS, current transportation funding approaches rely on fossil fuels for general transportation revenue, creating greater risks to the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s budget as it accelerates transportation decarbonization, which undermines the ability to sustain core transportation services, address significant deferred maintenance in the transportation system, and make needed investments in climate mitigation and adaptation strategies; and 

WHEREAS, Portlanders are already feeling the early impacts of climate change, including the catastrophic wildfires in 2020, a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for winter storms in 2021, and the “Heat Dome” event in 2021 that set record high temperatures of 116 degrees Fahrenheit and took the lives of at least 60 Portland residents; and    

WHEREAS, City Council understands the existential threat to our community posed by the climate emergency, and knows that we must act with greater urgency and take bold steps to achieve our transportation emission reduction goals; and 

WHEREAS, City Council recognizes that implementing adopted policies and transportation decarbonization strategies will require resources beyond those available from current general transportation revenue allocations. 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that City Council directs City bureaus and Council offices to work together to identify policy and regulatory adjustments, investments, and public-private partnerships to accelerate the transportation decarbonization strategies in the Climate Emergency Workplan including equitable EV adoption, promoting electric mobility options, and supporting e-bikes and shared electric mobility. The Portland Bureau of Transportation shall lead the City’s transportation electrification work in coordination with other City bureaus and Council Offices.

  1. Make Portland a top U.S. city for equitable transportation electrification by increasing EV adoption among renters and low-income Portlanders through the following actions: 
     
    1. The Portland Bureau of Transportation shall collaborate with other City bureaus and public agencies to identify publicly-owned sites by March 31, 2024 that may be suitable for L2 and/or DCFC charging, or could be made suitable with new investment or legislative action, including but not limited to: (Climate Emergency Workplan (CEW) Decarbonization Priority T-6, T-7)
       
      1. City-owned and other publicly-owned land where EV charging for municipal and/or public purposes is not actively being pursued, such as local parks, City community centers, City parking garages, County libraries, and Metro facilities. 
         
      2. Remnants, nonessential right-of-way, or parking lanes owned or controlled by the City or State. 
         
    2. The Portland Bureau of Transportation should explore strategic partnerships and public-private partnerships with investor-owned utilities, electric vehicle supply equipment companies, non-profits, and/or other public agencies to increase the amount of affordable, public EV charging options in Portland. (CEW Decarbonization Priority T-6, T-7)
       
    3. As resources are made available, the Portland Bureau of Transportation shall collaborate with other City bureaus to identify code changes needed to streamline and simplify the permitting and installation of EV chargers on private and public property for individual and/or public use to ensure that the process to permit and install EV chargers is clear, efficient, safe, and affordable. (CEW Decarbonization Priority T-6, T-7)
       
    4. As resources are made available, the Portland Bureau of Transportation shall collaborate with other City bureaus and Council Offices to initiate public outreach and engagement on this goal by July 1, 2024 to inform community about programs and incentives for EVs; to understand community perspectives on EV charging, particularly issues facing low-income communities and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities in Portland; and, to examine the opportunities or challenges of potential EV charging sites. (CEW Decarbonization Priority T-6, T-7)
       
    5. As resources are made available, the Portland Bureau of Transportation and other City bureaus shall develop a citywide communication strategy by July 1, 2024 that educates Portlanders on the benefits of electric mobility, available financial incentives to enable the purchase or lease of electric vehicles and chargers, and provides straightforward guidance for permitting, obtaining and installing electric vehicle chargers. (CEW Decarbonization Priority T-6, T-7)
  1. Identify opportunities to promote electric mobility options that are more sustainable than passenger vehicles, trucks, and vans with internal combustion engines, including by taking the following actions:  
    1. The Portland Bureau of Transportation, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, and other City bureaus and Council offices shall initiate pilot projects and research to identify policy, regulatory adjustments, investments and public-private partnerships to support goods movement by zero emissions vehicles, including e-bikes and e-cargo bikes, and promote micro-distribution centers. (CEW Decarbonization Priority T-8)  
       
    2. The City should continue to identify additional funding to expand the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Transportation Wallet program, which allows users to bundle multimodal transportation incentives for use across low-carbon and electric mobility options including transit, streetcar, car-share, bike-share, and scooter-share. (CEW Decarbonization Priority T-4)
       
    3. As resources are made available, the Portland Bureau of Transportation and other City bureaus and Council offices should explore strategies to increase the amount of zero emissions vehicles in the City’s own fleet of 2,600 vehicles and in commercial fleets through policy, regulatory adjustments, public-private partnerships, pilot programs, and grant funding, including but not limited to taxis, ridehail, wheelchair assisted vehicles, non-emergency medical transportation, carshare, bikeshare, and e-scooter services. (CEW Decarbonization Priority T-1)
       
    4. As resources are made available, the Portland Bureau of Transportation shall continue to support the increased use of public transit by Portlanders and to support the electrification of public transportation options through the following actions: (CEW  Decarbonization Priority T-1, T-7)
      1. Continue to invest in maintaining and expanding a world-class Portland Streetcar system, including pursuing the Montgomery Park extension,
      2. Support TriMet in seeking funding to electrify the bus system, and 
      3. Support other public transportation opportunities that can divert single-passenger vehicle trips, such as Frog Ferry, and support electrification of these options in partnership with local companies.  
         
  2. The Portland Bureau of Transportation shall investigate strategies to support e-bikes and shared micromobility (BIKETOWN and e-scooters) through the following actions:
    1. The City shall continue to identify and advocate for funding opportunities and programs for a citywide e-bike rebate program with extra incentives for income-qualified individuals and an evaluation to assess program outcomes. (CEW Decarbonization Priority T-1, T-3)
       
    2. As resources are made available, increase the visibility of e-bikes and shared micromobility (BIKETOWN and e-scooters) and existing bicycle facilities with engagement programs citywide, and with a focus on inner neighborhoods where conditions are best but where network awareness may be low. (CEW Decarbonization Priority T-1)[HS1] 
       
    3. As resources are made available, develop a strategy to capture single-occupancy vehicle and transportation network company trips by BIKETOWN and e-scooters, including by exploring new program operating models, increasing fleet size, reducing user ride cost, expanding equity programs, and broadening public-private partnerships. (CEW Decarbonization Priority T-1)
       
    4. As resources are made available, continue to explore opportunities and remove barriers to increase access to safe, secure, and convenient parking and charging for personally owned bicycles, e-bikes, and shared electric micromobility vehicles on private property and on public property, particularly in ways that minimize livability concerns. (CEW Decarbonization Priority T-1)
       
    5. As resources are made available, the Portland Bureau of Transportation shall present updates to City Council by December 31, 2024 considering how the broader array of mobility options, like e-scooters, e-bikes, and light-electric vehicles; new ridership habits; and usage of the City’s bicycle infrastructure fit into the city’s world-class bicycle network and accelerates the vision of enabling short trips to commercial Centers. (CEW Decarbonization Priority T-1)

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that City Council directs City bureaus and Council offices to work together to pursue immediate actions including but not limited to: 

  1. Leverage resources by securing external funding. The Portland Bureau of Transportation shall provide citywide leadership in identifying, applying for and securing transportation decarbonization funding in collaboration with other City bureaus and Council Offices from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and other local, state, and federal sources. (CEW Decarbonization Priority T-3, T-7)
     
  2. Identify alternative revenue sources and funding mechanisms to reduce the City’s dependence on fossil fuels for transportation funding, which includes but is not limited to:  
     
    1. The City shall continue to support local revenue decoupling through the transition of local, regional, and state funding to revenue streams that do not rely upon fossil fuel sales or consumption, like gas tax or parking surcharges. (CEW Decarbonization Priority T-3)
       
    2. The City shall continue to advocate for the State Road User Charge to align with transportation system funding needs (CEW Decarbonization Priority T-3).
       
  3. Explore new resources that can augment the general transportation revenue funds that are currently allocated to advance this work.
     
  4. Continue to engage in the 2023 Regional Transportation Plan Update process and advocate for the inclusion of carbon reduction policies, including adoption of zero emission vehicles and Vehicle Miles Travelled reduction goals. (CEW Decarbonization Priority T-5)

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the City Council recognizes that much of this work is not currently funded and requests that staff return with implementation, operational and funding plans for its further consideration during the FY 24-25 budget process, if not sooner.

Impact Statement

Purpose of Proposed Legislation and Background Information

  • This resolution responds to Resolution 37609 that established transition priorities for Portland City Government and set forth environmental and climate goals for the Public Works portfolio, including strategies to accelerate the decarbonization of the transportation system that would be led by PBOT.
  • This resolution aligns with the Council-Adopted Climate Emergency Workplan (Resolution 37494) and includes actions that correspond to all seven of the transportation decarbonization priorities assigned to PBOT.
  • This proposal contains three main goals:
    • Make Portland a top U.S. city for equitable transportation electrification by increasing EV adoption among renters and low-income Portlanders,
    • Identify opportunities to promote electric mobility options that are more sustainable than passenger vehicles, trucks, and vans with internal combustion engines,
    • The Portland Bureau of Transportation shall investigate strategies to support e-bikes and shared micromobility (BIKETOWN and e-scooters).
  • In addition, the resolution directs PBOT to continue to engage in other priority actions, including leveraging resources by securing external funding, identifying alternative revenue sources and funding mechanisms to reduce the City’s dependence on fossil fuels for transportation funding, exploring new resources, and continuing to engage in the 2023 Regional Transportation Plan Update process to advocate for the inclusion of carbon reduction policies.

Financial and Budgetary Impacts

  • The resolution itself does not have a fiscal impact.  The Climate Emergency Workplan, the source for many of these policy initiatives, includes an assessment of implementation costs and funding gaps. Many of these funding gaps have only been exacerbated by PBOT’s continuing funding challenges.
  • Further, accelerating the implementation of the priorities outlined in this resolution will require new resources. Rapid implementation of these priorities requires new dedication FTE, program dollars and capital investment.
  • As a baseline, each of the priority areas identified here would require 1 FTE to manage implementation of the policy priorities along with professional, technical and expert services to inform City work on these cutting-edge approaches. Priorities like increasing the number of zero-emission vehicles in the City’s own fleet will require both new resources for more costly fleet purchase and clear policy guidance on the use of existing resources.
  • PBOT will continue to seek outside funding to advance these priorities but, even with grant funding, the City generally must provide match, grant management support and staff resources to do the foundational work to prepare for and apply for grant funding.
  • This legislation does not affect staffing levels nor will result in a new or modified financial obligation or benefit now or in the future. With much of this work not sufficiently funded, PBOT will return with implementation, operational and funding plans during subsequent supplemental appropriations or the development of the FY 2024-25 budget.

Community Impacts and Community Involvement

  • Community impacts: This resolution lays out specific actions required to achieve the transportation decarbonization goals from the Climate Emergency Workplan. The Climate Emergency Workplan recognized the impact of the climate crisis on all Portlanders, as well as the disproportionate impact on frontline communities, including Black and Indigenous people, communities of color, immigrants, refugees, individuals living on low-incomes, labor and workers, people living with disabilities, youth, and individuals experiencing houselessness.
  • Community involvement: The 2022 Climate Emergency Workplan builds upon decades of climate policy and community engagement in Portland, including the equity engagement process used to develop the 2015 Climate Action Plan. The Climate Emergency Workplan is the implementation plan for the City’s Climate Emergency Declaration, which was adopted in 2020. The development of the Climate Emergency Declaration involved over 50 community-based and culturally specific organizations over the course of a year. The efforts instigated by this workplan were prioritized based on the City Council’s direction to restore a safe climate for all Portlanders, centering the needs and priorities of Black and Indigenous communities, people experiencing low income, and community members who are most at-risk and vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
    • This resolution also builds upon several other plans and projects that engaged communities. The personal vehicle electrification actions are supported by community engagement done by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability through their EV Ready Code project as well as stakeholder interviews done by PBOT staff through their EV charging in the right-of-way project. The EV Ready Code project’s robust public involvement process included conversations and input from community-based organizations representing BIPOC and renters, utilities, environmental advocacy organizations, EV charging companies, and building/development representatives. The freight electrification actions are supported by outreach and engagement done by PBOT staff as part of the 2040 Portland Freight Plan project, including several Community Advisory Committee Meetings and workshops open to the public.

100% Renewable Goal

While this action will likely increase total electricity use from an increase in electric vehicles, it also directly decreases harmful greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. The portion of electricity used from this action that is renewable will continue to increase as utilities make the local electrical grid cleaner in advance of legislated targets to have 100% clean electricity sources by 2040.  

Budget Office Financial Impact Analysis

This resolution establishes transportation decarbonization priorities to align with the Council-Adopted Climate Emergency Workplan (resolution 37494) and correspond to priorities assigned to the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT). The resolution itself makes no appropriations and has no fiscal impact. Pursuit of the included priorities, however, will require additional or realigned resources and will inform decision making in future budget cycles. 

Agenda Items

Adopted

  • Commissioner Dan Ryan Yea
  • Commissioner Rene Gonzalez Yea
  • Commissioner Mingus Mapps Yea
  • Commissioner Carmen Rubio Yea
  • Mayor Ted Wheeler Yea

Contact

Hannah Morrison

PBOT Planner II, Transportation Planning

Requested Agenda Type

Time Certain

Date and Time Information

Requested Council Date
Requested Start Time
2:00 pm
Time Requested
1 hour
Confirmed Time Certain