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The proposed Yamhill County plan could implement new routes and transit centers in the city

SUBMITTED PHOTO - The city of Newberg is expected to sign onto an area transit development plan developed by Yamhill County.

The city of Newberg will sign onto the area transit development plan developed by Yamhill County and update any necessary public works designs to meet that and implement new routes.

According to city council documents, in 2019 Newberg will: work with Yamhill County Transit Area implementing new routes in Newberg; work with YCTA on a downtown transit center location; coordinate with YCTA to jointly install transit centers and new transit signs; initiate a comprehensive plan and development code changes to implement the transit plan.

The county began developing a transit plan in February 2017 and Newberg participated in developing the plan through the Yamhill County Transit Area Project Advisory Committee. Then Newberg City Council member Scott Essin, current member Patrick Johnson and City Manager Joe Hannan participated in forming the plan. The committee metin five meetings from May 2017 until last July and public outreach was conducted.

There were more project meetings with the TCTA board of directors and Yamhill County board of commissioners through last fall. A transit development plan was developed in July and the YCTA Advisory Committee approved and recommended it in October. The Yamhill County Board of Commissioners approved the plan later that month.

The plan has six goals, with several lists of objectives. The first goal is mobility, seeking to provide convenient, reliable public transportation serving a range of customer needs. This goal has four objectives, including achieving high route productivity by serving key ridership marks.

The second goal is accessibility, seeking to provide public transportation services that are equitable and address the needs of all uses. This goal has seven objectives, including providing local connectivity within and between the various towns in the county.

The third goal is passenger experience, seeking to make public transportation a convenient, attractive and welcoming way to travel. This goal has six objectives, including investing in technologies that enhance customer service, service reliability and access to information.

The fourth goal is safety and security, ensuring transit riders and drivers have safe and secure vehicles and facilities. This goal has five objectives, including providing high quality transit facilities by providing bus stop shelters, seating and other amenities that support customer comfort and convenience.

The fifth goal is livability and economy, integrating public transit in the transportation to support a prosperous, healthy community. This goal has three objectives, including enhancing access to major activity centers, such as major residential or employment areas, as well as emerging or underserved activity centers.

The final goal involves efficiency and financial accountability, managing the transit system in a fiscally responsible may to maximize return on investment. This goal has three objectives, including advocating for increased funding and seeking new and innovative funding opportunities.

The Newberg City Council was not being asked to make any decisions on this at their Tuesday meeting, only to initiate the amendment so these proposals can go through a public hearing process. If the council does initiate the process, staff will research possible design standards, timelines and proposed processes. It would then go before the Newberg Planning Commission in a public hearing to develop a recommendation, and then return to the council for a public hearing.

Any fiscal impact is not yet known.

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