Orange County Transportation Authority

Salaries and Benefits

A Message From CEO Darrell Johnson

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) has a long history of accountability, openness and transparency, which I believe is fundamental to the success of any public agency.

As an agency funded with your hard-earned taxpayer dollars, we have an absolute obligation to ensure that those dollars are spent in a way that is fiscally responsible.

OCTA has a clearly defined mission to develop and deliver transportation solutions to enhance the quality of life and keep Orange County moving. Accomplishing this requires a collaborative effort of all of our employees, our partner cities and agencies, our business community, and each resident of Orange County.

We operate under the guiding principles of five core values:

  • Integrity
  • Customer Focus
  • Can-Do Spirit
  • Communication
  • Teamwork / Partnership

Living up to our core value of communication means that we operate with complete transparency. We strive to always provide timely, accurate, and useful information to our customers, stakeholders, our partners, and most importantly you, our taxpayers.

Because of this, we believe it’s important to post the salaries and benefits of our Board Members and employees. As a public employee, I understand the scrutiny of my salary and the compensation for the rest of our employees and as a taxpayer, I welcome it.

The executive compensation information below is inclusive, representing not only salaries but deferred compensation, auto allowance and other benefits such as health, retirement, and life insurance benefits. All other administrative employees' salary information by position can be accessed with the Personnel and Salary Resolution. This document also provides an overview of employee benefits.

Annual Compensation for all OCTA employees. In compliance with AB 2040, please click on the following link to access the Government Compensation in California website that lists annual salary information for all OCTA employees.

As OCTA's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), my annual salary is $310,440 with an additional $35,600 annually for deferred compensation, $9,180 for a car allowance and $106,817 in benefits, making my total compensation package $462,038. The OCTA Deputy Chief Executive Officer's annual salary is $241,904 with an additional $29,595 annually for deferred compensation, $9,180 for a car allowance and $85,938 in benefits, making the total compensation package $366,619. Information for the remainder of the executive team is shown in the executive compensation chart below.

Salaries and Benefits Summary  

At OCTA, we continuously strive to offer competitive salaries and a comprehensive benefits program. The Great Recession resulted in the elimination of merit increases for administrative employees from 2009-2012.

For fiscal year (FY) 14/15, the Board of Directors (Board) has approved a 4% merit pool for administrative employees. Any merit increase awarded is based on individual employee performance and thus the actual increase amount will vary by employee. The total of all merit increases awarded will not exceed 4% of the salaries of budgeted positions. OCTA strives to be a workplace of choice by offering competitive wages and benefits, and our compensation levels are consistent with other public agencies of similar size and operations. This is a critical factor in allowing the agency to attract and retain superior employees within the marketplace.

Benefits Summary

OCTA offers medical, dental, and vision coverage to administrative employees. Costs vary based on the plan each employee selects. OCTA participates in Orange County Employees Retirement System (OCERS). The majority of OCTA employees participate in OCERS Plan Type 1.667% at 57 ½. . The employee share of the retirement benefit costs are based on the employee’s age of entry into the retirement system. Any employee hired on or after January 1, 2013  shall pay  100% of the  employee contribution. For all other administrative employees,  effective January 1, 2014, employees  pay 25% of the employee contribution, and commencing January 1st of each year thereafter through 2017 employees shall pay an additional 25% of the employee contribution.  Effective January 1, 2014 and continuing until January 1, 2017, OCTA will pay the share of the employee contribution that is not paid by the employee. Commencing January 1, 2017 employees shall pay 100% of the employee contribution.

Auto Allowance

OCTA provides an auto allowance of $9,180 annually for the CEO, Deputy CEO, executive directors, and directors consistent with the Personnel and Salary Resolution, which links the allowance to the amount paid to senior management at the County of Orange.

Compensation for Board of Directors

Per the California Public Utilities Code, the OCTA allows members of the Board necessary traveling and personal expenses incurred in the performance of duties authorized by the Board and may allow members per diem compensation at the maximum rate of $100 per day, not to exceed $500 in any calendar month, for attending board meetings and for performance of any other services for OCTA as authorized by the Board. Compensation for mileage will be paid at the IRS rate to any member who does not have a city-owned or county-owned vehicle.

Medical, dental, vision, and term life insurance also are available to Board Members, and amounts vary depending on when a member began serving on the Board and whether the member receives insurance from another public agency. The detailed description of what Board Members receive for insurance is available in the Personnel and Salary Resolution on page 19.


Executives Position Salary Other Pay** Insurance Premiums Pension Costs Total Compensation Costs
DARRELL JOHNSON Chief Executive Officer $310,440 $44,780 $24,178 $82,640 $462,038
KENNETH PHIPPS Deputy Executive Officer $241,904 $38,776 $9,203 $76,736 $366,619
Executive Director Capital Programs $212,743 $13,435 $25,075 $65,942 $317,195
Executive Director External Affairs $203,986 $19,380 $21,774 $63,638 $308,778
Executive Director Finance & Administration $206,628 $17,446 $27,779 $63,928 $315,781
Executive Director Government Relations $199,576 $13,172 $17,933 $63,858 $294,539
Executive Director Human Resources &
Organizational Development 
$0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Executive Director Internal Audit $171,060 $14,312 $20,173 $53,891 $259,436
Executive Director Planning  $216,445 $17,838 $19,889 $69,565 $323,737
General Manager Transit $207,272 $19,544 $19,861 $65,068 $311,745
General Manager Treasury/Tollroads $205,733 $24,467 $9,615 $63,535 $303,350
Director Contracts Admin & Mtls Mgmt $178,943 $18,128 $8,284 $56,354 $261,709
Director Finance & Administration $174,013 $14,401 $6,355 $55,189 $249,958
Director Highway Project Delivery $186,244 $14,768 $3,484 $57,434 $261,930
Director Motorist Services $187,970 $16,699 $16,343 $58,920 $279,932
Director Rail Programs $188,116 $16,705 $27,722 $58,353 $290,896
Director Strategic Planning $187,533 $18,557 $27,720 $29,389 $263,199
Director Assistant General Manager - Transit $188,074 $14,823 $17,934 $60,205 $281,036

*Executive Compensation is based on annualized salary & benefits information as of April 13, 2015 .

**Includes deferred compensation and auto allowance