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OCTA Adapts, Overcomes Pandemic Challenges to Deliver Successfully on 2020 Initiatives

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December 14, 2020


Board reviews 2020 Accomplishments that included continuing to make freeway and transit improvements and providing regional leadership among obstacles of COVID-19

ORANGE – Throughout 2020, the Orange County Transportation Authority adapted and pushed through the many unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to continue keeping its promises to deliver a balanced and sustainable transportation network for Orange County.

A summary of the many accomplishments for OCTA in 2020 was presented today to the OCTA Board of Directors, comprised of 15 elected and two appointed members from across the county, and a Caltrans representative.

The Board led the way in directing policy that made necessary adjustments to protect the health and safety of the public and OCTA employees, while continuing to keep Orange County moving.

“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.”

Milestones for the year were guided by five overarching Board Initiatives:

  • Comprehensive Mobility Solutions
  • Regional Leadership and Public Transparency
  • Resiliency, Sustainability and Innovation
  • Fiscal Accountability
  • Organizational Excellence

Accomplishments included advancing projects promised to voters through Measure M, Orange County’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements. Among them are important freeway improvements on I-405, continuing to make improvements on 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 took strong steps forward with zero-emission bus efforts, debuting the largest transit-oriented hydrogen fueling station in the nation and approving a separate pilot program for 10 plug-in electric buses.

OCTA demonstrated resiliency and regional leadership in dealing with the effects of COVID-19, to help protect employees and the public.

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.

OCTA capitalized on years of planning to quickly transition to remote work and virtual meetings when the pandemic hit. All Board and Committee meetings were transitioned to a virtual format starting 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 more complete summary of OCTA’s 2020 Accomplishments, please visit: http://www.octa.net/2020Accomplishments.

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