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Riders Board OCTA Buses In Record Breaking Numbers

Nearly 6.2 million customers in July find relief in OCTA’s bus service

ORANGE – Nearly 6.2 million riders boarded Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) buses in July, breaking the record for the highest number of boardings in the agency’s history.

The ridership counts represent a change in commuter habits. With gas prices well above the national average in Orange County, the savings from public transportation are greater than ever.

According to an analysis from the American Public Transportation Association, commuters in Orange County can save an average of $700 a month by taking OCTA’s bus system, which equates to more than $8,000 a year.

OCTA is continuing to encourage public transportation use among the community by offering residents free all-day bus passes this summer. OCTA distributed special introductory passes to 80,000 households in northern Orange County in July, and the passes will hit the homes of 200,000 residents in west and south Orange County this month.

“The historic ridership numbers show that our bus service is providing the much-needed relief to high gas prices for Orange County residents,” said Peter Buffa, vice chairman of OCTA. “People need to travel to work, school and doctor appointments, and our service is getting them there.”

Metrolink service also experienced exceptional growth last month as ridership increased 24 percent compared to July 2007. Nearly 400,000 people boarded the system last month, a 5 percent jump from June 2008.

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