Orange County commuters may now find a faster way of getting to their destinations with the new Bravo! Route 543 bus service that made its public debut June 10.
With commemorative cake, soaring streamers, festive balloons and a distinctive Bravo! bus, OCTA CEO Darrell Johnson and Chairman Greg Winterbottom joined Directors Gail Eastman, Matt Harper, Steve Jones, John Moorlach, Al Murray and Tim Shaw to officially launched the new service.
Johnson said he was excited for the transit milestone that adds service to one of the busiest routes in Orange County.
“We have listened to our riders, looked at ways to improve our service and are very happy to see them begin to come to fruition,” Johnson said. “Without question, the next 12 months are going to be incredibly productive and launching Bravo! is the first of many improvements coming to our streets, highways and railways.”
The more than 13,000 riders who travel the 12-mile route along Harbor Boulevard each weekday may now take advantage of the new service that features fewer stops.
Beginning at the Fullerton Transportation Center, the Bravo! route passes through Anaheim, Garden Grove and Santa Ana, ending at MacArthur Boulevard in Costa Mesa.
Prior to the launch at OCTA headquarters, transit officials also hosted a briefing on Friday, June 7, where seven members of the media gathered at the Garden Grove operations base to see the new buses and report about the new service firsthand.
Chairman Winterbottom and Director Nguyen highlighted Bravo! as marking OCTA’s continued effort to improve bus service and create more efficient ways for passengers to travel throughout the county.
After managing through the recession, OCTA has started increasing bus service by adding back approximately 60,000 service hours on the most heavily traveled routes.
“At the core, OCTA’s business is delivering bus service and this new offering gives riders another option to speed up their daily commute,” Winterbottom said.
Nguyen added, “I again want to say how happy we are that we can provide this new service for those who depend upon us every day and I look forward to watching the Bravo! buses rolling along Harbor Boulevard.”
OCTA also offered free rides on the Bravo! Route 543 Monday, June 10, through Wednesday, June 12, to allow passengers to experience the new service.
The new route shares some of the same stops as current Route 43, with stops farther apart at major transfer points and major destinations. Route 543 only stops at the 15 Bravo! stops identified by the unique “B!” bus stop signs.
The fare remains the same as regular OCTA service: $2 per boarding or $5 for a day pass. Service runs between 5 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays only.