When transportation professionals have an opportunity to hear from the head of the county’s leading transportation agency, they listen. OCTA CEO Darrell Johnson recently spoke to an attentive group at a monthly meeting sponsored by Women’s Transportation Seminar-Orange County (WTS-OC).
Johnson’s talk focused on OCTA’s 2019-20 budget, which is currently being finalized.
Among other topics, Johnson provided an overview of the OC Go (also known as Measure M) Next 10 Delivery Plan, designed to improve transportation in Orange County over a 10-year period from 2017 through 2026. Using funding from Orange County’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements, it allocates $1 billion for streets, delivers $4.3 billion in freeway projects (including $460 million completed prior to 2017), ensures ongoing preservation of open space in exchange for streamlined approvals of freeway projects, and provides $40 million in water quality grants to keep pollution out of waterways.
Johnson also discussed the impact of State Bill (SB) 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, which is anticipated to invest $52.5 billion in statewide transportation during the next decade. For OCTA, SB 1 erased a $18 million transit funding gap, resulting in no changes to bus service levels for FY 2017-18. He concluded with an overview of proposed legislation which may have an impact on funding sources for legislation.