February 11, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Portland Bureau of Transportation
Bureau of Transportation distributes walk/bike maps in five new languages
PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Bureau of Transportation attended a pre-employment training class at the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization today to give students walk/bike maps in five new languages as a part of its SmartTrips program. The additional languages for the popular maps were Burmese, Nepali, Somali, Russian and Arabic. IRCO informed PBOT that these languages would cover the most New Portlanders and help to get them to job interviews if they didn’t own a car.
“For New Portlanders, getting to that first job interview or first day on the job can be a monumental task, especially if English isn’t a first language,” said Marni Glick of PBOT. “Handing out walk/bike maps in other languages shows those new to our area that low-cost and free transportation choices are right around the corner. Plus, choosing to walk, bike, take transit, and carpool increases fitness, saves money, and reduces traffic congestion and pollution.”
The new languages were cost-effectively made by adding stickers to existing maps on top of map key and titles. These maps are currently available in both English and Spanish and show the locations of schools, community centers, transit lines, parks and grocery stores.
SmartTrips is the name for Transportation Options' programs that encourage alternative transportation choices. Bike and walk maps and ordering information can be found at www.gettingaroundportland.org.
According to its website, IRCO’s mission is to “promote the integration of refugees, immigrants, and the community at large into a self-sufficient, healthy, and inclusive multiethnic society.” More information is available at www.irco.org.