In light of the pandemic, what does the future of mobility look like for Orange County? CEO Darrell E. Johnson joined two other transportation experts to answer that question during The Future of Transportation teleconference sponsored by OC Forum, a non-profit group of business and civic leaders.
Responding to questions posed by moderator Sarah Catz, director of the Center for Urban Infrastructure and former OCTA board member, Johnson commented on the value of preparedness, the continued importance of safety, and the changing nature of commuting.
Prudent management and a strategic approach to financing will allow OCTA to continue programs and services despite lowered sales tax revenue, explained Johnson. In June, OCTA approved a balanced budget of more than $1.4 billion for the fiscal year that began on July 1.
Safety continues to be OCTA’s highest priority, according to the CEO. Due to the safety measures implemented onboard transit and a successful transition to remote work, OCTA has continued to provide essential bus service and advance capital projects while ensuring the health and safety employees and the public.
As to the future, Johnson cited the need for continued social distancing and enhanced cleaning on buses and trains. One of the biggest changes he anticipates is a larger shift to remote work. In early March – prior to the stay-at-home order – OCTA successfully transitioned more than 500 administrative employees to remote work.
Other participants in The Future of Transportation teleconference included Samuel Johnson, interim chief executive officer of The Toll Roads, and Barry Rondinella, airport director of John Wayne Airport.
Watch the teleconference here.