Orange County Transportation Authority

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  • Salaries and Benefits

  • A Message From CEO Darrell Johnson

    Darrell Johnson

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

    As an agency funded with 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 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 $37,418 annually for deferred compensation, $9,180 for a car allowance and $108,089 in benefits, making my total compensation $465,127. The OCTA Deputy Chief Executive Officer’s annual salary is $252,200 with an additional $30,110 annually for deferred compensation, $9,180 for a car allowance and $90,231 in benefits, making the total compensation $381,721. 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. For fiscal year (FY) 15-16, the Board of Directors (Board) has approved a 4% merit pool for administrative employees. Any merit increase awarded is based on an individual employee’s 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 top-quality 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 B which is 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 pays 100% of the employee contribution. For all other administrative employees, effective January 1, 2014, employees paid 25% of the employee contribution, and commencing January 1 of each year thereafter through 2017 employees 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 will pay 100% of the employee contribution. Administrative employees entering public agency employment and public retirement system membership for the first time on or after January 1, 2015 participate in Plan U which is 2.5% at age 67. The earliest date of retirement is age 52 or older with 5 or more years of Service Credit. 
    • 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.
    • Executive Compensation

      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.





      Other Pay*

      Insurance Premiums

      Pension Costs

      Total Compensation Costs


      Chief Executive Officer







      Deputy Executive Officer






      Executive Director

      Capital Programs






      Executive Director

      External Affairs






      Executive Director

      Finance & Administration






      Executive Director

      Government Relations






      Executive Director

      Human Resources &
      Organizational Development






      Executive Director

      Internal Audit






      Executive Director







      General Manager







      General Manager








      Contracts Admin & Mtls Mgmt







      Finance & Administration







      Highway Project Delivery







      Motorist Services







      Rail Programs







      Strategic Planning







      Assistant General Manager - Transit







      * Other Pay includes Deferred Compensation, Auto Allowance and Cell Phone Allowance

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