Director Gregory Winterbottom was reappointed to a four-year term as one of two public members on the OCTA board.
Winterbottom has been a public member of the board since 1993, serving as chairman in 2004 and again in 2013. He currently serves on the OCTA's Transit Committee and Legislative and Communications Committee.
He represents OCTA on the Southern California Regional Rail Authority, which operates Metrolink, and the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee, a multi-county agency that reviews proposals for and funds projects that reduce air pollution from motor vehicles within the South Coast Air District.
He previously worked as the executive director to the Orange County Consolidated Transportation Services Agency, an agency that provided paratransit services to people with disabilities and one of the agencies consolidated into OCTA in 1991. He now works as an independent consultant on accessibility issues for people with disabilities.
The Orange County Transportation Authority’s board of directors recognized three employees of the month for March.
Resolutions of appreciation were presented to:
The OCTA board voted to return the day pass fare to its regular price of $5 starting April 9, following a six-month promotional period where it was dropped to $4.
The promotion, funded through the state’s Cap and Trade program, didn’t meet its objective of attracting new riders.
The price reduction was part of the OC Bus 360° plan, the agency’s ongoing effort to improve bus service and increase the efficiency of bus travel throughout the county.
The fare reduction, which went into effect in October, was intended to attract new passengers to the bus system that continues to experience declining riders. However, the promotion resulted in primarily shifting existing riders from paying the full fare to purchasing the discounted day pass.
The OCTA board decided that the best organizational model to operate and maintain the OC Streetcar is through hiring a contractor and directed OCTA staff to return with a plan to procure the services.
Several different organizational models were analyzed and evaluated based on cost, operational flexibility, quality of service, organizational impacts, qualifications of personnel and proven success and performance. The contractor option was the best based on price and experience.
The OC Streetcar project, being led by OCTA, is part of the Measure M half-cent sales tax program approved by voters. It will be Orange County’s first modern electric streetcar and will run on a 4.2-mile route from the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center, up Santa Ana Boulevard and Fourth Street and along the Pacific Electric right-of-way to Harbor Boulevard in Garden Grove.
The system is expected to carry up to 7,500 daily passengers and is scheduled to begin operations in 2020. A request for proposals for operations and maintenance contractors is expected to be released in September.
The board received an update on the Transit Master Plan, which when complete, will provide an integrated bus, rail and paratransit plan for Orange County.
The plan, initiated in the summer of 2016, will help identify potential future transit corridor studies and recommended changes to existing transit service.
The State of OC Transit Summary Report, which will be used to complete the master plan, includes initial findings and provides an overview of existing transit service in the county. Other additions include important local and regional plans and policies, emerging transportation trends and technologies and transit-related opinions and priorities of local stakeholders.
The presentation also included draft transit goals which are to enhance, connect, simplify, support and sustain the transit system. Each goal has accompanying objectives that will be used to develop a Transit Investment Framework, which is scheduled to be presented to the board in May. The framework will outline where and when it makes sense to consider additional investments in transit.
The completed Transit Master Plan is expected to go to the board in November.
The board received an update on the status of OCTA’s programs in anticipation of the development of a Long-Range Transportation Plan, the annual budget and a 20-year Comprehensive Business Plan.
The transportation market is rapidly evolving and the traditional methods for funding services and projects are shifting. Since 2013, OCTA has focused its efforts on ensuring that all OCTA programs remain on track despite lower-than-expected sales tax revenue and declining bus ridership.
Through various actions, including implementation of the OC Bus 360° program, $42.5 million in ongoing recurring savings from the bus program have been achieved to ensure fiscal sustainability without raising fares and maintaining service levels.
However, lower revenues and reduced demand for traditional fixed-route service may require some service levels to be revised. OCTA is continuing to examine ways to deliver transit service that addresses a changing market and best matches the demand of riders.
91 Express Lanes
OCTA Administrative Office
550 S. Main StreetOrange, CA 92868