CEO Inspects Garden Grove Base

Bus maintenance operators work hard to ensure OCTA’s buses transport passengers safely every day.

Representatives from bus operations, maintenance, safety, customer relations and other sections reported the status of the Garden Grove base to CEO Will Kempton last Friday.

Inspectors started their assigned roles as early as 1 a.m. Friday. The base inspection involves a comprehensive review that included:

  • Bus and fuel safety procedures
  • Coach operator credentials and facility permits
  • Training
  • Bus and facility cleanliness

Each inspection team leader reported to Kempton along with Director Greg Winterbottom on their findings at a 6 a.m. debriefing.

OCTA operates three bus bases in Anaheim, Santa Ana and Garden Grove.

Beth McCormick, general manager of transit, Erin Rogers, assistant general manager of transit, Tony Chavira, manager of maintenance, Bill King, base manager of bus operations and Oscar Moreno, base manager of maintenance, also participated in the inspection.

The overall evaluation found the Garden Grove base to be in excellent operating condition in all areas.

The Garden Grove base inspection concluded the 2009 series of inspections.

The combined scores for the three bus bases in 2009 were:

  • Anaheim 97.9
  • Garden Grove 98.3
  • Santa Ana 98.3

The next round of inspections will start this fall.

OCTA Staff Members Discuss Transportation Initiatives with WTS

OCTA’s Speaker’s Bureau offers a variety of presentations to organizations in Orange County about important transportation issues. For more Transportation in 2 videos, visit OCTA’s YouTube channel.

Kristine Murray, executive director of government relations, and Tom Bogard, director of development, attended the Women's Transportation Seminar of Orange County chapter meeting Wednesday to discuss the local budget situation and the impacts to bus service and capital projects.

Murray and Bogard presented an overview of OCTA projects and discussed upcoming freeway and rail projects, which included an update on the California high-speed train project.
Bogard also shared information about OCTA’s upcoming shelf-ready projects.

The event was attended by more than 130 people who work in both the public and private sector of the transportation industry.

Director Art Brown Talks Transit in Sacramento

Director Art Brown represented OCTA on Wednesday at the California Association of Councils of Government (CALCOG) Capitol Day event in Sacramento.

The event included conversations with Senator and Vice Chair of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), Assembly Member and Chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee Mike Eng (D-Los Angeles), Senator and Chair of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), Jim Earp, executive director of California Alliance for Jobs and commissioner of the California Transportation Commission, and others.

The key topics of the discussions included the current proposals to dramatically alter transportation funding, SB 375 implementation and other state budget proposals.

CEO Attends Mobility 21 Special Board of Directors Meeting

CEO Will Kempton attended a Mobility 21 special board of directors meeting Tuesday.

The agenda focused on Mobility 21’s advocacy objectives on the state and federal levels, strategies to achieve those objectives and the logistics for an upcoming legislative advocacy trip planned for March.

The committee agreed that the federal level Mobility 21 should focus on the second jobs stimulus bill, transportation authorizing legislation and climate change legislation. On the state level, there was consensus to oppose the governor’s proposed budget that would eliminate transit funding and support legislation to allocate stimulus funds on a formula basis.

Metrolink Closes Tracks to Work
On Service Expansion Improvements

The Metrolink Service Expansion program will increase rail service between the Fullerton and Laguna Niguel / Mission Viejo Stations beginning this year. Officials will close the tracks south of Irvine station during February to make track and signal improvements will be made.

Metrolink officials will close one of the two main train tracks through Laguna Niguel to install new track and switches related to the Metrolink Service Expansion Program at 9 p.m. Friday to 4 a.m. Monday.

Trains may be delayed 15 to 30 minutes through this area due to the single-track operation.

Train officials will fully close both tracks through Laguna Niguel from 11:30 p.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday.

Due to additional Metrolink Service Expansion Program track construction, officials will close the tracks south of Irvine from 8 p.m. Feb. 26 to 4 a.m. March 1.

Metrolink Construction Advisory

Feb. 19 to
Feb. 22

Feb. 20 to
Feb. 21

Feb. 26 to
March 1

Expect delays through Laguna Niguel

Full closure. Alternative transportation available.

Full closure south of Irvine

Based on the new weekend service schedule, Inland Empire-Orange County line trains 859 and 860 will be cancelled. The Orange County line train 661 will originate in Irvine and train 664 will terminate in Irvine.

Amtrak will provide alternative transportation during the track construction. For more information, please visit Amtrak at www.amtrak.com or call 1-800-USA-RAIL.

Reduced Metrolink Weekend Service Starts this Week

As indicated in last week’s e-newsletter, new Metrolink schedules went into effect on Monday, Feb. 15. The Orange County and Inland Empire-Orange County Line weekend schedules will change Saturday.

This schedule change will incorporate the service reductions approved by the Metrolink board of directors at the Jan. 8 board meeting and include minor changes to a number of other weekday trains in response to current operating conditions on the system.

Orange County Line Weekend Service (Oceanside – San Juan Capistrano – Los Angeles) will be reduced from eight to four trains.

Click here to see the new schedule changes.

Ride Metrolink to Chinatown and
Celebrate ‘Year of the Tiger’

Saturday, Feb. 20 – Metrolink riders can take the train to Chinatown in Los Angeles and attend the Chinese New Year Parade and Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Orange County residents can celebrate the Lunar New Year with festivities at the Irvine Metrolink station and free Metrolink tickets to Chinatown in Los Angeles on Saturday, Feb. 20.

Parking is located at the Five Star Parking Lot off of Broadway and Cesar Chavez.

The Metrolink train in Orange County is scheduled to depart the Irvine train station at 9:38 a.m. and arrive at the Los Angeles Union Station at 10:50 a.m.

The 111th Annual Golden Dragon Parade starts at 1 p.m. The first 100 guests will receive complimentary Metrolink round-trip tickets, courtesy of VPSI Commuter Vanpools.

For more information, visit OCTA.net/Lunar2010 . Stay updated on this event as well as future Metrolink events, by becoming a fan of OCMetrolink on Facebook.

OCTA invites the public to share comments to help shape the future of the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center, one of the first links to high-speed rail in California.

Anaheim to Hold Public Scoping Meeting for ARTIC

Wednesday, Feb. 24 – The city of Anaheim will hold a public scoping meeting on the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center. The ARTIC project is currently in the environmental phase of development.

The purpose of the meeting is to provide information to the community regarding the proposed project and the environmental process, as well as provide an opportunity for community input.

The meeting will be from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Anaheim West Tower in the Gordon Hoyt Conference Center, 2nd floor located at 201 South Anaheim Blvd. in Anaheim.

For more information, visit articinfo.com.

Contact Laura Scheper at (714) 560-5697 or lscheper@octa.net.

Advocacy Trip to Provide Insight on OCTA’s
State Legislative Priorities

March 3 and March 4 – The annual OCTA Sacramento advocacy trip will provide an opportunity to advance the organization’s state legislative priorities.

The agenda will be comprehensive and include meetings with Orange County’s state representatives, members of the Senate and Assembly leadership and high-ranking members of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Administration.

Contact Maureen Figueredo at (714) 560-5677 or mfigueredo@octa.net.

APTA to Host Annual Conference
In Washington, D.C.

March 13 to March 16 – The American Public Transportation Association will host its annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. to focus on legislative issues facing the transportation industry and advocate for transportation on Capitol Hill.

Contact Allison Cheshire at (714) 560-5490 or acheshire@octa.net.

Feb. 12 – The Orange County Register published an article about the city of Huntington Beach receiving a federal grant to upgrade three bridges in Huntington Beach.

Feb. 12 – The Orange County Register answered a question about the digital-video-recorder system along the 91 Express Lanes.

Gov 2.0, held at OCTA, brought together social media gurus and novices from around Southern California to share their successes and lessons learned with social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Feb. 15 – The Mass Transit Magazine posted an article highlighting OCTA’s work in integrating social media tools – Twitter, Facebook and blogging – into its communications work. These social networking sites have rapidly become some of the most powerful and effective tools a transit agency can use to engage public members and other important stakeholders.

Feb. 13 – The Orange County Register ran an article about OCTA reducing bus service in Aliso Viejo.

Feb. 16 – The Orange County Register included a story about Metrolink rail service scaling back on weekend rail service, starting this weekend.

Feb. 16 – The Orange County Register printed an article about construction along Artesia Boulevard near the Santa Freeway (I-5) in Buena Park.

The $325 million I-5 Gateway Project is now more than 85 percent complete. The final M1 freeway project is on track to be finished on schedule in fall 2010.

Feb. 16 – The Orange County Register answered a question about the I-5 Gateway project.

Feb. 16 – The Orange County Register wrote a story about the Placentia City Council considering a resolution to oppose the simultaneous closure of seven train crossings by OCTA.

Feb. 17 – The Socialistworker.org wrote an article about the Teamsters Local 952 union in Orange County and Secretary Treasurer Patrick Kelly.

Feb. 17 – KOCE aired a story regarding Will Kempton’s experience as CEO and his outlook for OCTA.

Feb. 18 – The Orange County Register included an online article regarding the Placentia City Council opposing OCTA’s proposal of accelerating the construction schedules of seven grade separation projects in north Orange County.

Feb. 18 – The Orange County Register wrote a story about OCTA, California Public Utilities Commission and Federal Railroad Administration partnering together to study the volume levels of wayside horns along the San Clemente Coastal Trail.

Feb. 18 – The Daily Pilot published an article about the city of Costa Mesa seeking options to relieve traffic congestion where the Costa Mesa Freeway (SR-55) ends and Newport Boulevard narrows.

For the latest media news, follow Joel Zlotnik, media relations manager, on Twitter.

Approved Travel Requests

Wednesday, Feb 17 – Wendy Villa, California Association of Councils of Government Capitol Day, Sacramento

For the latest in transportation issues and programs in Southern California,
follow Ted Nguyen, Public Communications Department, on Twitter.
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