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Local News in Brief : Countywide : Group Studying Transit Merger Picks Chairman

Costa Mesa lawyer Dana Reed was named chairman Wednesday of a committee created to study the proposed consolidation of Orange County’s transportation agencies.

The committee, created by the Board of Supervisors, met for the first time in Santa Ana Wednesday at the county Hall of Administration. The panel is composed of representatives from the board, the League of Cities and the various agencies that would be involved in a merger.

Reed is a member of the county Transportation Commission.

At the meeting, county Transportation Commission and transit agency board member Richard B. Edgar argued against consolidation on the grounds that bus operations should be separate from general transportation planning.

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But an audit by the Santa Ana office of Arthur Young & Co., a consulting firm, presented at the meeting shows that three different transit agencies employ 60 administrators to oversee a combined fleet of only 200 vans for dial-a-ride service. The report also shows that costs per passenger for such service is rising rapidly and that fare box returns are extremely low.

Supervisor Roger R. Stanton, a member of the Transportation Commission and of the Orange County Transit District board of directors, said such figures indicate that the van programs are being run inefficiently and that consolidation would benefit them.


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