OC Bus 360°, the comprehensive action plan developed to help reshape bus ridership in Orange County, continues to show positive results. Despite drops in ridership regionally and across the nation, Orange County has experienced a 12.8 percent increase on routes improved as part of the plan.
Through OC Bus 360°, OCTA has implemented new and faster bus routes, redeployed services to improve efficiencies, awarded grants to local agencies for transit services tailored to community needs, rolled out new technologies such as mobile ticketing and real-time bus arrival information, and communicated with the public via marketing, outreach, and promotional campaigns.
OCTA is aligning its services with the needs of riders. Later this year, OCTA will launch OC Flex, a door-to-door on-demand micro-transit service. The pilot program will debut in two select areas. One area includes parts of Huntington Beach and Westminster and the other includes parts of Aliso Viejo, Laguna Niguel, and Mission Viejo. In addition, a competitive program available through Measure M (also known as OC Go), puts local tax dollars to work by encouraging cities to apply for funding for community-based circulators and shuttles. The Board of Directors is expected to award funding in June for seven new projects.
Another innovative community transportation program is the Santa Ana College Pass program. It allows 49,000 students to ride the bus for free for the first year and pay low fees the following two years. More than 5,500 students have used the pass, generating over 573,000 boardings and increasing ridership by approximately 8 percent on adjacent routes.