In 2016, Morrow County and Umatilla County adopted separate Coordinated Human Services Transportation Plans. These coordinated plans are guiding documents that outline strategies for grant distributions funded by the State of Oregon’s Special Transportation Fund (STF) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Section 5310 program. The goal of each coordinated plan is to improve transportation programs and services for key target populations (older adults, people with disabilities, and people with low incomes) through the identification of new transit service, enhancements to existing transit programs, improvements to the marketing of transit programs, and new technology.

While each of the coordinated plans have been prepared specific to the various needs of the individual counties, it has been noted through the planning process as well as other transportation planning efforts carried out by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) that Morrow and Umatilla County are closely integrated from a transportation perspective. With a large number of jobs located in an around the Port of Morrow and a relatively low population base, Morrow County tends to import workers from Umatilla County and beyond creating a fairly significant employment-based commuting profile. With more geographically dispersed employment centers and a larger population base, Umatilla County not only imports jobs from neighboring counties, but experiences a significant amount of intra-county employment commuting to the various employment centers.

Building upon the efforts outlined in the two Coordinated Human Services Transportation Plans, the Morrow County/Umatilla County Transit Development Strategy seeks to develop a broader range of transit solutions that will better address the larger inter- and intra-county transportation needs of workforce participants, seniors, people with disabilities, and lower incomes. 

The strategies presented herein are intended to address transit needs for the larger region’s employment-based commuters as well as the transit-dependent population.