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In 2020, OCTA Kept OC Moving Despite Pandemic Challenges

Throughout 2020, OCTA kept its promise to Orange County to deliver a balanced and sustainable transportation network while adapting to the challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“As an organization, we worked diligently to proactively address the unprecedented challenges of this public health crisis,” said OCTA Chairman Steve Jones, also the Mayor of Garden Grove. “I’m proud of OCTA staff and our Board of Directors for accomplishing so much toward providing essential transportation improvements and services for Orange County.”

Accomplishments included advancing projects promised to voters through OC Go, also known as Measure M, Orange County’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements. Among these were important improvements to the I-405 and I-5 in South County and completing the I-5 Central County Improvements Project – four months ahead of schedule.

Other notable accomplishments included continuing to build the OC Streetcar in Santa Ana and Garden Grove, funding street improvements and enhancing the OC Bus system.

OCTA also moved toward the establishment of a zero-emission bus fleet, debuting the largest transit-oriented hydrogen fueling station in the nation and approving a separate pilot program for 10 plug-in electric buses.

To help protect employees and the public, OCTA demonstrated resiliency and regional leadership in dealing with the effects of COVID-19. That agency-wide effort included providing consistent messaging in multiple languages to keep the public informed about safety measures on the OC Bus system, including temporary rear-door bus boarding, limiting the number of bus passengers for social distancing, implementing face covering requirements, and installing hand sanitizer and face-covering dispensers on all OC Buses.

The entire bus fleet was equipped with driver shields, which allowed a gradual and safe return to front-door boarding.

When the pandemic hit, OCTA capitalized on years of planning to quickly transition to remote work and virtual meetings. All Board and committee meetings were conducted virtually beginning in March. More than 500 administration employees smoothly transitioned to working remotely due in large part to extensive crisis planning, a remote-work pilot program, and a years-long effort toward cloud computing.

“We are proud of the leadership OCTA showed and all of the accomplishments throughout 2020,” OCTA CEO Darrell Johnson said. “All of those efforts put us in a strong position to continue providing essential transit services and building an even stronger transportation network for Orange County in 2021 and into the future.”

For a complete summary of OCTA’s 2020 accomplishments, click here

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