Every year, OCTA CEO Darrell E. Johnson presents to a lunch crowd at an event sponsored by (WTS).Transportation professionals from throughout the region come to learn the latest about OCTA and its projects and programs.
It’s a tradition not even a pandemic can curtail. In May, Johnson shared his annual update virtually, covering management changes, OCTA safety procedures, budgetary issues, and construction project updates while fielding online questions.
He began by recognizing Jennifer Bergener, who began serving as OCTA’s Deputy CEO earlier this year. Along with serving as Deputy CEO, she will continue in her role as Chief Operating Officer, responsible for overseeing all transit operations.
Johnson continued with an overview of temporary changes to OC Bus, including Sunday service levels throughout the week, rear-door boarding, and social distancing reminders. Safety for employees and riders continues to be OCTA’ s highest priority. OCTA provides hand sanitizer, face coverings and gloves to employees and onboard hand sanitizer for passengers.
While COVID-19 is anticipated to impact sales tax revenues, said Johnson, there is financial capacity within OC Go, Orange County’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements, to continue to improve freeways, streets and roads, as well as fund multiple transit programs.
Lastly, Johnson provided a look at OCTA’s continuing construction projects, including the I-405 Improvement Project, I-5 south and central projects, the OC Streetcar and the Laguna Niguel to San Juan Capistrano Passing Siding Project. Some have accelerated due to reduced freeway and street traffic volumes.