The OCTA Board of Directors received an update on OC Bus 360°, an ongoing effort to reposition the bus system by responding to changing market conditions. While ridership nationwide and regionally is declining sharply, OC Bus 360° is showing positive signs of reversing ridership declines in areas where improvements have been made to the bus system.
Overall, the OC Bus system experienced a 2.9 percent ridership decline compared to the year before. But in areas where route improvements were made, there was a 10.4 percent increase in ridership compared to the same time last year.
OCTA has improved the ridership experience in a variety of ways.
The OC Bus Mobile Ticketing app was rolled out last October to allow riders to purchase tickets using their smartphones. Since then, OCTA has continually upgraded its capabilities and in June, the Summer Youth Pass will be available on the app in addition to single rides, 30-day passes, college passes, and express route fares. Since its inception, users have downloaded the mobile ticketing app more than 30,000 times and purchased more than 130,000 fares. Learn more about the OC Bus Mobile app and download it here.
In the fall, OCTA will launch a three-year pilot program that will provide Santa Ana College students with free rides on any of OCTA’s bus routes during the first year. In the second and third years, full-time students will pay a $6.75 student administration fee per semester.
In addition, OCTA continues to implement comprehensive marketing efforts to retain and attract ridership. A campaign launched in March attracted nearly 2,000 survey respondents in the first six weeks, and almost 80 percent reported that they have not ridden OC Bus in the past six months. Visit here to view the campaign website and discover how easy it is to ride OC Bus to great OC destinations.
Improving productivity and bus ridership is now a key goal of OC Bus 360°, as well as route changes, testing of new technologies and continuing to look for ways to reduce costs overall.