Orange County (Calif.) Transportation Authority (OCTA) bus riders will not see a 25 percent bus fare increase in January as scheduled.
The board of directors voted this week to defer the increase after hearing that measures taken during the past two years to provide for long-term sustainable service have been successful. Also leading to the deferral is better than expected sales tax revenues, according to OCTA.
The $300 million 2010-11 transit operating budget OCTA approved in June included a reduction of 150,000 hours of bus service that was cut in March and $14 million in administrative cuts. In addition, the state restored transit funding that had previously been cut.
The budget also called for a 25 percent fare increase to begin in January that was expected to generate $5.4 million. However, because of the reductions that were implemented and sales tax revenues that are $5.8 million higher than budgeted, the fare increase can be deferred for at least six months.
OCTA officials said the agency will review the financial outlook as it works next year to develop the 2011-12 budget and determine whether it is economically feasible to continue delaying a fare increase.