An independent review has determined that OCTA is delivering transportation improvements as promised in 2006, when voters renewed Measure M (also known as OC Go), the county’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements. Covering the time period from July 2015 to June 2018, the triennial report indicates that the funds are being spent efficiently and transparently to improve Orange County transportation by relieving freeway congestion, fixing potholes, synchronizing traffic signals, enhancing transit, and helping the environment by reducing air and water pollution.
“Voters placed their confidence in OCTA by approving this sales tax measure in 1990 and again in 2006, giving OCTA a clear directive to invest their hard-earned dollars in transportation,” said OCTA Chairman Tim Shaw, also a La Habra Councilman. “This report shows that OCTA continues planning, funding, and building projects in a responsible and efficient manner for the benefit of everyone in Orange County.”
A triennial report is promised as a safeguard to voters under the terms of the measure to assess OCTA’s administration of projects and programs.
“One critical measure of a public agency is how well it serves its residents and I’m incredibly proud that an independent review has found OCTA is delivering tangible results for Orange County’s transportation system,” said OCTA CEO Darrell E. Johnson.
Among the findings, OCTA is:
- On track with meeting the primary goals of the measure and fulfilling promises
- Making significant progress in all areas of the measure, including improvements to freeways, streets and roads, and public transit
- Operating under sound fiscal practices
- Highly focused on public accountability with great transparency
- Aligning well with peers reviewed
The report also shows OCTA’s many Measure M accomplishments to date, including:
- 43.6 new freeway lane miles; five reconstructed interchanges; seven railroad grade crossings; and eight Metrolink grade crossings or station improvements completed
- 96 million bus boardings provided to seniors and people with disabilities
- $342 million toward improving local transportation infrastructure
- 6.2 million cubic feet of trash collected before reaching Orange County waterways, and 1,300 acres that were eligible for development but was instead preserved as open space.
Orange County’s Measure M was initially approved in 1990 and renewed in 2006, providing a reliable revenue stream for transportation improvements through 2041.
The original 20-year measure made possible more than $4 billion worth of transportation improvements to help Orange County residents, workers, and visitors travel more efficiently throughout all parts of the county.
The renewed measure is expected to generate approximately $13.1 billion for improvements. Freeways receive 43 percent of the funding, streets 32 percent, and transit 25 percent. The freeway program includes funding for an environmental program that preserves and restores natural habitat and improves water quality.
The findings of the independent review will be forwarded to the Taxpayer Oversight Committee, an 11-member public committee that monitors OCTA’s use of the funding. The committee holds an annual public hearing and has determined for 27 consecutive years that Measure M is being delivered as promised.
To review the full report, visit here.