Management & Operations

$30M OCTA program to increase rail access

Posted on March 8, 2006

California's Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) has allocated $30 million in local funds to increase transit access to the region's 11 Metrolink commuter-rail stations. OCTA's "City-Initiated Rapid Transit Program" encourages Orange County's 34 cities to create rapid transit extensions from existing Metrolink stations to major employment, residential and activity centers. Extensions could include bus circulators, shuttles, light rail, monorail or other transit technologies. "The goal is to transform Orange County Metrolink stations into multimodal transportation hubs," said OCTA CEO Art Leahy. The agency will provide expertise in transit operations and federal funding processes and will help cities coordinate their efforts to ensure local transit extensions work seamlessly as a future countywide transportation network. Cities will apply for $100,000 grants to conduct an assessment of the transit needs in their community and develop initial project concepts. Public participation, including community workshops, will be a key component of this process. OCTA will then issue a competitive call for projects and distribute the remaining funding based on project readiness and expected benefits. Funding for the program comes from the county's half-cent sales tax for local transportation improvements.

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