Countywide : OCTA Board to Consider Changes for Bus Routes


The first major overhaul in county bus service since 1981 will be scrutinized today by Orange County Transportation Authority board members.

The plan calls for increasing service on some high-demand bus routes and ending 11 routes where ridership is low. But the meeting is just the beginning of a process that will require public hearings and additional approvals from transportation officials.

Transportation planners surveyed 10,000 riders and non-riders as part of a yearlong effort to make bus service more profitable.


During the 1994-95 fiscal year, bus riders paid only 25% of the $64.8-million cost of county bus service. the additional 75% comes from state and federal governments, which are expected to decrease their share by 5% next year, according to OCTA Planning Manager Nancy Michali.

The proposed plan calls for increasing bus service in areas such as Santa Ana, which accounts for 50% of operating costs because of the high numbers of riders there. Transportation officials are also considering switching from larger buses that carry between 42 and 60 passengers to smaller, 17-passenger shuttles on routes where demand is lower. Michali said the operating costs of the smaller shuttles are half that of the larger buses. The county also is considering contracting with private shuttle operators.

“It’s a major change and we want the public to know what’s going on,” Michali said.

Today’s OCTA meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Planning Commission hearing room at the County Hall of Administration.