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OCTD Alters Routes Into Employment Centers

Times Urban Affairs Writer

Emphasizing service to growing employment centers, the Orange County Transit District is changing several bus routes, effective Sept. 11.

“Since 60% of our riders take the bus to work, it makes sense to provide additional service to these growing areas,” OCTD General Manager James P. Reichert said Tuesday.

The service changes announced by OCTD are:

* Route 53--Orange to Balboa--All regular service will be rerouted from Taft Avenue, between Glassell Street and Tustin Avenue, to Meats Avenue, which borders the Mall of Orange.

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* Route 76 and 76A--Irvine to Huntington Beach--Service in the Woodbridge area of Irvine will be rerouted from Jeffrey Road and Barranca Parkway to Alton Parkway and East Yale Loop.

* Route 78--Laguna Hills to Huntington Beach--Two morning eastbound and two evening westbound trips will be added between Huntington Center and Culver Drive-Michelson Drive intersection in Irvine. All service will be rerouted from the San Diego Freeway and Harbor Boulevard to Euclid Street, and Talbert, Hyland and Sunflower avenues.

In addition to these changes, OCTD will increase service to Rancho Santa Margarita, the new planned community east of Mission Viejo. Service from the Laguna Hills Transportation Center to the Rancho Santa Margarita business park will run at 30-minute intervals during the peak commuting hours of 6 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m., via Los Alisos Boulevard, Santa Margarita Parkway, Empresa and Las Banderas. This route also will include the Park-n-Ride lot at Empresa.

OCTD officials said some trips also may be extended to serve Rancho Santa Margarita High School, adding that they will continue to provide service to widely dispersed groups in south Orange County--so-called group loading--to the Catholic high school.

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