50th Anniversary - Overview

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50 Years.
Moving Forward.

Our story began in 1972. We've been helping Orange County grow and thrive ever since, innovating and evolving to connect riders to destinations throughout Orange County. Join us as we celebrate 50 years of providing bus service in Orange County.

Share your story. Help us remember your good times!

Since 1972 we've been connecting riders like you to destinations throughout Orange County. Along the way, we've been honored to be part of your lives. If you have a story, please add it to our 50th Anniversary album!


A trip on OC Bus is a connection – a link to friends and family, school, work, appointments, and recreation. For 50 years we've been connecting riders to destinations that matter most while creating programs and opportunities to make it easier for everyone to ride.

Rider safety is a priority for OCTA. For the past 20 years, Transit Police Services (TPS) has maintained a safe environment throughout the entire transit system. As part of the Orange County Sheriff's Department, they patrol major transit hubs to ensure the security of every rider. TPS even practices routine training exercises with an elite group of specialized dogs and their handlers.
One of the only programs of its kind in the country, our free Service Animal Training Day pairs service animals and their trainers with experience riding public transportation. During the past 20 years, we've helped increase mobility for thousands of service animals and their caretakers.
In 2017, we launched a program providing free rides to community college students that has been phased in during the past five years. Today, all nine Orange County community colleges participate in OCTA's College Pass Program. We're proud to remove barriers to education while encouraging the transit riders of the future.


For years, OCTA has led the transformation of transit technology with new fuel technologies, enhanced fleet configurations, a robust mobile ticketing app, and consistent focus on environmental issues. We continue to move transit technology forward.

New Electronic Digital Signage
New Fuel Technologies
OC Bus Mobile App
OC Flex On-Demand Transit
How we're transforming transit


During the past five decades, Orange County bus service has evolved from a service with five leased buses to a thriving and sophisticated transit operation with more than 500 vehicles. This timeline marks the many milestones along the way.

Bus service begins with the formation of the Orange County Transit District (OCTD) and consists of five leased buses and three routes serving 25,000 passengers a month. The 25-cent flat fare for local buses with free transfers remains unchanged for six years.
Annual ridership grows dramatically to more than 20 million and the OCTD fleet keeps pace, expanding from five to nearly 500 large buses and more than 140 smaller buses with 53 local routes and 5,800 bus stops.
To improve transportation efficiencies in Orange County, OCTD joined six other transit agencies to form the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA). Agencies included the Congestion Management Agency, Consolidated Transportation Service Agency, Local Transportation Agency, Orange County Transportation Commission, Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies, Service Authority for Abandoned Vehicles.
With an eye toward the future and addressing low-emission vehicles, OCTA debuts the first full-sized hybrid electric bus, part of a test-site program from manufacturer New Flyer of America. This program is a giant step toward testing and investing in zero-emission technology. OCTA also adds 61 Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) buses with 60 percent lower emissions compared to diesel buses.
Bravo bus service debuts to speed commutes by reducing the number of stops on longer routes, including Harbor Boulevard. The success of the first route, Bravo 543, paved the way for Bravo Route 529 and Bravo Route 560.
OC Bus, the new name for bus service in Orange County, provides a friendlier and stronger connection to riders and the county. The new logo and a cheerful orange and blue wave design is later applied to OC Access, OC Flex, OC Streetcar and OC Go to create a family of services.
Plug-in battery electric buses begin operating as part of a pilot program that also includes 10 previously deployed hydrogen fuel-cell electric buses. This new pilot will help determine which technology – or mix of technologies – will work best for Orange County moving forward as OCTA moves to convert the OC Bus fleet to 100% zero-emission technology by 2040.

50 years of progress

Our accomplishments during the last five decades form a solid foundation for the future as we continue to move Orange County forward.

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