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Meeting of Feb. 24, 2014
MSRC Grants Awarded to Angels Express and Orange County Fair Express
OCTA was awarded a nearly $810,000 grant to help operate the Angels Express and Orange County Fair Express services. The competitive grant was funded by the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC) of the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
The Angels Express was awarded $208,520 for the service that will begin on March 31. The grant will support Metrolink service for 51 regular season games through Sept. 19. Last year, more than 34,000 people took the Angels Express.
The Orange County Fair Express was awarded $601,187 for the upcoming fair season. Last year, the Fair Express provided nearly 59,000 boardings. This year, the buses will be available for five weekends starting July 11 and continuing through Aug.10. The service will operate from eight locations throughout the county.
The MSRC Major Event Center Transportation Grant program requires a local match that is equal to or greater than the MSRC funding request amount. OCTA will provide $606,500 in matching funds for the Orange County Fair Express and $215,000 in matching funds for the Angels Express.
The MSRC makes grants available on a competitive basis to reduce the number of solo drivers on the road. The agency promotes transit use to decrease emissions within Southern California.
Bravo!® Service Receives Rave Reviews from Riders
The board received an update on the progress of Bravo!® the limited-stop service on Route 543 along Harbor Boulevard, which was launched as a pilot project in June 2013.
Passengers and coach operator surveys have found the Bravo!® service is performing very well compared to other OCTA fixed routes. Customers state they are saving more than 15 minutes per trip and the primary reasons for using the service are the speed and travel time savings.
Riders also gave high scores for reliability, cleanliness and value. The most requested improvement for Route 543, as well as for the parallel service on Route 43, is for buses to run later on evening and weekends.
Additional marketing efforts will be developed to attract new riders and final survey results will be presented in July 2014.
The two other approved pilot projects, Routes 273 and 722 have been delayed because of an uncertainty in funding to ensure ongoing sustainability of existing operations. The three pilot projects were developed as part of OCTA’s Transit System Study to improve efficiency of the bus service.
Board Receives Measure M1 and M2 Closeout and Progress Report
The board received an update on the progress of M1 and M2 projects and programs for the period between October and December 2013. The report also gives a detailed closeout overview of Measure M1.
Highlights from Measure M1 include:
- A new connector was completed on the southbound I-405 to the eastbound SR-22 as part of the West County Connectors project
- The reconstruction of the west half of the Seal Beach Boulevard bridge over the I-405 was completed as part of the West County Connectors project
- Construction on a parking expansion project at the Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo Metrolink Station was completed
The closeout report found that Measure M1 has been completed and has fulfilled the promise of congestion relief to the voters. The remaining funds from Measure M1 are being considered to advance Measure M2 freeways, streets, roads and Metrolink rail operations.
Highlights from Measure M2 during the quarter include:
- A construction contract was awarded for the SR-91 project between SR-55 and the Tustin Avenue interchange
- The Anaheim Rapid Connection and Santa Ana-Garden Grove Fixed-Guideway projects continue to move forward through the project development process
- The Environmental Cleanup Program’s Tier 1 call for projects was approved by the board for $2.83 million
Board Updated on Results from Transit Division Performance Measures
The board received the Transit Division Performance Measurements Report for the second quarter of fiscal year 2013-14 fiscal year. The report details progress on key performance indicators that gauge the safety, reliability, cost-effectiveness and overall quality of public transit services offered by OCTA.
Highlights of OCTA’s transit services performance include:
- Ridership for all fixed-route services decreased by 5.8 percent compared to last year
- There was a 12 percent decline in the number of passenger comments related to buses behind schedule, pass bys or no-shows
- The bus service operated at a cost of $143.74 per revenue vehicle hour, which was below the budgeted amount of $160.53