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Countywide : Local Agency Rejects Delay of Transit Bill

An attempt to postpone until the next legislative session action on a bill that could lead to the consolidation of Orange County’s six transportation agencies was rejected Monday on a tie vote of a local advisory group.

The 4-4 vote of the Ad Hoc Committee on Transportation Agency Consolidation leaves the way open for state Senate committee hearings to begin on Senate Bill 838, a consolidation measure introduced this session by Sen. Marian Bergeson (R-Newport Beach).

The ad hoc committee--composed of two representatives each of the Orange County Transportation Commission, Orange County Transit District, Board of Supervisors and the county branch of the California League of Cities--was created last fall to advise Bergeson on her bill.

Under the proposal, the Transportation Commission and the Transit District would be disbanded and a super agency called the Orange County Transportation Authority would be created. That agency would also assume the duties of the Laguna Beach Municipal Transit Line and the Consolidated Transportation Service Agency, a special bus system for the elderly and disabled.

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At some later date, the bill could be amended so that the super agency would also operate and administer the county’s three toll roads, now being planned under two separate agencies, according to Dana Reed, a member of the OCTC and chairman of the ad hoc committee.

The motion to delay the legislation ended in a tie vote Monday, showing that there is no consensus within the county on the bill, according to Richard B. Edgar, a Tustin City Council member who also represents the Orange County Transportation Commission on the ad hoc committee. Reed, however, said that those voting to delay the bill may have been trying to derail it.


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