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May 13, 2013 Board Meeting
New Harbor Boulevard Bus Service Launches Next Month, More on the Way
With the first of three Transit System Study pilot projects set to launch next month, the board received an update on efforts to implement new and more efficient bus service.
Limited-stop bus service – called Bravo! – will begin operating June 10 along OCTA’s busiest route. The new Route 543 will operate on Harbor Boulevard between the Fullerton Transportation Center and MacArthur Boulevard in Costa Mesa and travel the same path as Route 43.
OCTA distributed a survey to 4,000 riders in March to determine service satisfaction and customer preferences. A follow-up survey will be conducted early next year to track progress.OCTA undertook the Transit System Study following a period of significant service reductions between 2008 and 2010. The goal was to identify to identify how OCTA could maintain a financially sustainable bus system, as well as better accommodate service demand throughout Orange County.
The other two pilot projects on the horizon include:
- A new intracounty express Route 273, which will run between Laguna Niguel and Costa Mesa via SR-73. This service will begin in October.
- A new intercounty express Route 722 between Santa Ana and Long Beach via SR-22. This service will begin in February 2014.
These projects will be monitored and changes may be made based on customer comments and operations analysis.
Board Approves ACCESS Savings Reinvestment Strategy
The board approved a plan to spend $46 million of savings from a recently awarded ACCESS contract on enhancements that will benefit riders throughout the transit system.
On March 25, the board selected MV Transportation to operate OCTA’s ACCESS paratransit service beginning July 1. The $157.7 million four-year term contract will result in a $46 million savings.
The savings will go toward five projects:
- Implement integrated voice response system enhancements for ACCESS for $100,000
- Implement software to improve ACCESS scheduling and dispatching for $477,000
- Purchase 49 ACCESS buses for $6.6 million
- Purchase 10 fixed-route buses for $5.8 million
- Add 32,000 revenue vehicle hours to the bus system to improve on-time performance and address crowding on OCTA’s busiest routes for $1.3 million
Metrolink Ridership Increases Compared to Last Year
Results for the second quarter 2012-2013 Metrolink ridership are out and Orange County rails are seeing year-over-year increase in ridership and revenue. Total ridership for the quarter showed an 8.6 percent increase compared to last year’s results. Total revenue showed a 22.4 percent increase in comparison to last year.
Total weekday ridership in Orange County is up 1.9 percent compared to last year and average weekday on-time performance was 95.5 percent, falling just shy of Metrolink’s 96 percent goal.
Metrolink serves five Southern California counties, with 55 stations, operating 163 daily trains that carry 44,000 riders each weekday. There are three lines that serve Orange County providing 48 trains and carrying 16,000 passengers daily.
OCTA OKs Agreement to Continue Service Between Orange and Riverside Counties
The board voted unanimously to continue jointly funding two bus routes that operate between Orange and Riverside counties with the Riverside Transit Agency.
Route 216 is directly operated by RTA and travels between downtown Riverside and the Village at Orange. Running weekdays between 4:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., the route has an average daily ridership of approximately 300 passengers.
Express Route 794 is operated by OCTA and travels on the 91 Express lanes between the counties, stopping at the points from the La Sierra Metrolink Station to South Coast Plaza. The route has an average weekday ridership of 216 passengers and runs during the morning and evening commute hours.
OCTA and RTA share funding for the routes based on the percentage of time the buses are operating in each county. Both routes are being funded through June 30, 2014. The agreement for Route 216 is $216,000 and Route 794 is not $107,000.
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