Repairing potholes, repaving streets, synchronizing signals, enhancing safety, supporting local transit solutions – OCTA recently returned nearly $12 million in locally generated sales tax dollars to cities around Orange County for these and other road maintenance projects.
The funds come from OC Go, also known as Measure M, Orange County’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements. OC Go includes flexible funding through the Local Fair Share Program to help cities and the County of Orange augment the cost of maintaining, rehabilitating and enhancing the local street network.
“This program epitomizes the concept of putting local tax dollars to work,” said OCTA Chairman Gene Hernandez, also the Mayor of Yorba Linda. “Every two months, these locally generated dollars go back to the cities and the county as a stable and flexible source of funding for vital transportation projects.”
Local Fair Share funds are distributed using a formula based on each jurisdiction’s population, amount of sales tax generated, and number of street miles. OCTA has allocated $623.32 million for street improvements since the program’s inception in 2011.
Cities and the county can use these funds for residential street projects including pothole repair, traffic and pedestrian safety near schools and signal priority for emergency vehicles.
Pavement preservation, which extends the useful life of pavement and avoids costly street reconstruction, is particularly important to the cities which receive the funds. The cost of street rehabilitation has increased substantially in recent years, and gas tax revenues have not kept pace, which has a direct impact on cities’ ability to fund street maintenance and rehabilitation. OC Go revenues have kept pace with inflation, which makes the Local Fair Share Program more valuable than ever in preserving and maintaining streets in good condition.
Orange County streets are among the best in the state with an average weighted pavement condition index score of 79 compared to the statewide average of 66.
Investing in local streets saves future public costs, saves drivers money on wear and tear costs, keeps traffic moving and provides expanded travel choices.
Learn more about Local Fair Share Projects and other OC Go investments in streets and roads here.