At their most recent virtual meeting on October 29, members of the OCTA Diverse Community Leaders group received an update on OCTA’s response to COVID-19 from CEO Darrell Johnson. In addition, project managers provided information regarding transportation studies, the I-405 Improvement Project, and the OC Streetcar.
“Overall, we’ve had to adapt and adjust almost every aspect of our operations and administrative functions during the past seven months,” said Johnson. “The primary objective is to provide safe, reliable, essential transportation services and deliver capital projects while implementing health and safety practices to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.”
Among other topics, Johnson discussed bus ridership and the many adjustments OCTA has made to continue offering this essential service while keeping riders and employees safe. Bus ridership is at about 64,000 daily boardings, approximately half of that prior to the pandemic. OCTA monitors ridership daily to make adjustments where necessary to ensure passengers can continue practicing social distancing on board.
Following the implementation of rear-door boarding in April to help decrease interaction between passengers and coach operators, OCTA is gradually returning to front-door board on buses equipped with plexiglass shields for drivers. The entire fleet is expected to be outfitted with the shields by late November. Learn more about OCTA’s COVID-19 safety guidelines and operations here.
Johnson also relayed that OCTA took advantage of lighter traffic on Orange County streets and freeways during the past few months to accelerate construction on the I-5 and I-405 improvement projects and OC Streetcar.
Composed of business, social, and faith leaders from Orange County’s diverse communities, the Diverse Community Leaders group meets quarterly to discuss OCTA’s programs and services and share their ideas and concerns.