OCTA plans to use state funds to welcome bus drivers again


The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors has recommended the use of more than $ 6 million in public cap-and-trade funding to support initiatives that will encourage more people to use the OC bus. and will help provide cleaner air through zero emissions. bus technology.

The council recommended a $ 6.35 million allocation plan from the state’s Low Carbon Transit Operations Program (LCTOP), as part of California’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“While OCTA’s main goal is to get Orange County moving, we also want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to protect our environment,” said OCTA President Andrew Do, also supervisor of the county’s first district. “We are excited to be working with the state to continue testing the cleanest bus technologies and to encourage more people to take the bus as we reopen our economy and restore bus service.”

Funding recommendations include:

  • $ 3.7 million for a “Welcome Back” fare reduction program for OC Bus users. The fare reduction, which will be implemented later this year, will encourage passengers to return to OC Bus after a sharp drop in ridership at the height of the COVID-19 public health crisis. OCTA has reduced bus service and is gradually adding service as needed, keeping the health and safety of passengers and employees as a top priority.
  • $ 716,000 for the College Pass program. The program, which began at Santa Ana College in 2017, has since expanded to several community colleges including Fullerton, Cypress, Saddleback, Santiago Canyon, and Golden West. The program allows community college students to pay a small fee with their tuition to take the OC bus for free during the semester, which gives them better access to education.
  • $ 1.9 million for the 10 battery-electric bus pilot program. The funds will help finance the modernization of infrastructure at bus bases and charging stations. OCTA is currently testing 10 hydrogen fuel cell electric buses and will soon begin testing 10 battery electric buses to determine which technology – or combination of technologies – works best on the streets of Orange County.

“We are grateful for the state’s strong partnership, which is invaluable in continuing to promote the importance of public transit and in ensuring that Orange County moves forward with the best zero-emission bus technology that will keep the efficient and reliable OC Bus service, ”said OCTA CEO Darrell E. Johnson.

Previously, LCTOP funding helped purchase buses, enabled more efficient commuter rail operations, and added bicycle racks to buses.

Current funding recommendations will be submitted to Caltrans and the California Air Resources Board for review by the end of June.

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