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Meeting of September 8, 2014
OC Fair Express Sets Ridership Record with More than 76,000 Hopping Aboard
The OC Fair Express set a ridership record this summer for the second year in a row with more than 76,000 fairgoers catching a ride to the Orange County fair.
The special bus service offered by the Orange County Transportation Authority reported 76,952 total boardings during the five-week fair season. This year’s numbers are a 31 percent increase compared to last year’s total ridership of 58,706.
This year, OCTA introduced a free OC Fair Express mobile app, which boosted awareness and ridership. The mobile ticketing pilot program allowed fairgoers to purchase bus passes and find routes, boarding locations and schedules using their smart phones. Approximately 25 percent of riders purchased tickets through the app or online.
The OC Fair Express, running on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, was made possible by a grant provided by the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee, which provides subsidies for cleaner transportation alternatives.
Board OKs Requests Proposals for Contracted Fixed-Route Bus Service
The board approved issuing a request for proposals to solicit a firm or firms to manage and operate the contracted fixed-route bus service. The current agreement with MV Transportation will expire on June 13, 2015.
MV Transportation has operated contracted fixed-route bus services for OCTA since 2009. The new contract term for the proposed agreement will be an initial term of four years. The selected firm will provide all management, operations and maintenance personnel to operate a dedicated fleet of OCTA vehicles.
Currently, contracted service represents approximately 28 percent of OCTA’s total fixed-route bus operations. OCTA intends to continue the transition from directly-operated to contracted service during each service change until approximately 40 percent of OCTA fixed-route bus service is contracted.
Proposals will be evaluated by OCTA based on a number of factors. Staff assigned 30 percent to the work plan, as the technical approach to providing up to 40 percent of OCTA’s bus service is critical to the successful delivery of this contract. Likewise, a higher level of importance was assigned to the staffing and project organization, as the qualifications of the project manager and other key local personnel are critical to the successful operation of the service. Cost and price was assigned 25 percent to ensure the firms submit competitive price proposals. Qualifications of the firm criteria was weighted at 20 percent to ensure proposing firms have experience providing similar levels of service as required by OCTA.
Contract bus service runs out of OCTA’s bus bases in Anaheim and Irvine and contractors may propose operating service for one or both of the locations.
OCTA Reaches Out to Residents and Commuters throughout Orange County
The community outreach team at OCTA is keeping residents and commuters up-to-date on projects throughout the county and provided the board an update on recent efforts.
With 13 projects in the works and eight more to begin by 2020, recent highlights include:
- Construction outreach for the I-5 improvement project between San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente as well as the reconstruction of the Ortega Highway interchange.
- The I-405 Improvement Project is nearing the end of the environmental phase and outreach is ongoing.
- The West County Connectors and SR-57 projects are nearly complete. In late 2014 or early 2015 OCTA is planning events to commemorate the project completions.
The outreach team is using a multi-method approach to engage the community and to communicate with stakeholders regarding the projects. These efforts include hosting community meetings, attending community events, meeting with major stakeholder and civic groups, utilizing social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and sending text alerts to notify constituents about upcoming detours.
More information regarding current or upcoming projects and outreach can be found on the OCTA website.