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Issuer Type: Transportation/Toll Road
M2 Sales Tax Revenue Bonds
Toll Road Revenue
On behalf of the Orange County Transportation Authority, I would like to welcome you to our investor relations website. We appreciate your interest and investment in bonds issued by the Authority, as it allows us to make critical investments in public infrastructure throughout Orange County. We are committed to maintaining our strong bond ratings, and we are also committed to being as transparent as possible with the investor community and public at large.
I hope you find this website useful as you seek to better understand the credit fundamentals of the Authority. Thank you for your interest in OCTA.
Andrew Oftelie, Chief Financial Officer
The Government Finance Officers Association of the United State and Canada recognizes OCTA for comprehensive report in ‘spirit of full disclosure’
ORANGE – The Orange County Transportation Authority was recently recognized by the leading association of government finance professionals for excellence and transparency in financial reporting.
The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada this month awarded OCTA the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year that ended in June 2019.
OCTA has received the high honor each year since it was founded in 1991.
The Certificate of Achievement is the association’s highest recognition for government accounting and financial reporting. It is judged by an impartial panel of experts from the association who review the report for its ability to clearly communicate the agency’s financial story and for a “spirit of full disclosure.”
“OCTA prides itself on being transparent with the taxpayers of Orange County and this award is another clear indication that we are achieving that goal,” said OCTA Chairman Steve Jones, also the Mayor of Garden Grove. “Through the tremendous work of our staff and Board, we will continue to fulfill our responsibility to wisely and efficiently use the funds entrusted to OCTA to improve our transportation system and, ultimately, our residents’ quality of life.”
OCTA has an annual budget of $1.4 billion, approved by a 17-member Board of Directors each year after a budget workshop, numerous updates in public committee meetings and the board’s annual public hearing.
An independent,11-member Taxpayer Oversight Committee also holds an annual compliance hearing to ensure that funds from Measure M, the county’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements, are being administered in accordance with the ordinances that were first approved by voters in 1990 and overwhelmingly renewed for 30 years in 2006. The Taxpayer Oversight Committee has determined for 29 consecutive years that Measure M is being delivered to voters as promised.
The Taxpayer Oversight Committee has determined for 29 consecutive years that Measure M is being delivered to voters as promised.
Amidst the uncertainty of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic impacts, OCTA continues to provide frequent financial updates to the Board of Directors for utmost transparency and accountability.
Local Measure M sales tax funds will help improve shelters, other amenities at 35 bus stops
ORANGE – The OCTA Board of Directors this week approved more than $1 million to make improvements to 35 of the county’s busiest bus stops in the city of Santa Ana, helping provide newer, more comfortable shelter for passengers waiting to ride OC Bus.
The funds are provided through Measure M, the county’s half-cent sales tax for transportation, also known as OC Go. The measure, renewed by voters in 2006, includes funding to help provide improved transit amenities at the county’s busiest bus stops.
This week’s award of funding for bus-stop improvements is part of OCTA’s ongoing investment in communities where there is the greatest demand for public transit. Santa Ana, which has some of the county’s most heavily used bus routes, applied for the competitive funds and will work with OCTA to implement the upgrades.
“A big part of our mission is provide our bus passengers with a safe and enjoyable experience that encourages them to ride public transit, and these local sales tax funds will help significantly enhance the experience for OC Bus riders,” said OCTA Chairman Steve Jones, also the Mayor of Garden Grove.
Funds will be used to make improvements at 35 of Santa Ana’s bus stops, including several popular routes along Bristol Street, 17th Street and Harbor Boulevard, among many other locations throughout the city.
The improvements include replacing existing shelters (from rain and sun), benches, trash receptacles, advertising cases and making necessary improvements to concrete at the stops.
While bus stops throughout the county are located on city property and maintained by individual cities, OCTA works in partnership with those cities to determine the best locations for stops and provides competitive funding for improvements.
To date, the OCTA board has approved more than $3.1 million for similar bus-stop improvements throughout Orange County.
The agency has shifted to virtual meetings and other technology to update residents living near its various construction projects
ORANGE – While millions of Californians heeded state orders to stay home to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), construction on public transportation projects continued, leaving the Orange County Transportation Authority to answer the question: What’s the best way to communicate construction updates to the thousands of residents living near its projects?
On the I-405 Improvement Project, the largest highway project under construction in the state, the COVID-19 pandemic forced OCTA to think creatively about how to best reach the diverse communities along the 16-mile stretch of project while ensuring the health and safety of employees and the public.
Traditional communication methods, including hosting information booths at community events, hosting in-person neighborhood meetings and canvassing fliers to residents’ homes, was no longer a viable option. But OCTA wanted to do more than relying on the project’s website, mobile app and social media presence to keep residents living in nine different cities throughout the project area informed.
Less than a week after the state issued its stay-at-home order in March, the I-405 Improvement Project hosted its first ever virtual neighborhood meeting to update residents living near major upcoming construction. The meeting was similar to the dozens that had been previously held, except instead of being at a community park, school or meeting room, residents were able to have their questions answered from the comfort and safety of their own home.
Since then, the project team has hosted nine additional virtual community meetings, directly communicating with nearly 450 people live. The meetings are all recorded and available online and have generated more than 2,000 views.
I-5 South Team Goes Virtual
The outreach team focused on improvements being made to I-5 between El Toro Road and SR-73 in South Orange County also converted its typical approach of chatting with residents over donuts in local neighborhood parks. Instead, they also quickly set up virtual meetings.
At first, they held a virtual meeting and discussed the entire 6-mile project, but quickly discovered it was a bit too much information for many residents who wanted detailed information about the freeway bridge near their house or whether there’d be a sound wall in their neighborhood.
So, they switched to “Webinar Wednesdays” that focused on smaller segments of the project.
And the I-5 South team looked to see how TV entertainment shows engaged viewers while going online. Using that example, rather than having just one presenter talk to the camera, they decided to have two presenters from the project team interacting.
One acts as the host for the meeting, welcoming the audience and explaining how it will work, then allows the other to present the information. The host asks follow-up questions and sometimes even jumps in to ask for clarification that the audience might want to know.
The I-5 South project team also focused on branding by always wearing button-up shirts that prominently featured the project logo when on camera. Otherwise, they limited branding, keeping it informal and presenting from their homes, with books, photos and artwork in the background.
The approach intended to send a message: Thank you for letting us come into your homes (virtually) for the presentation – from our homes to yours.
The team found that the team approach from home led to more engagement and more informal questions from viewers – as if they were still just chatting over donuts.
When completed in 2025, the I-5 South project will add a regular lane in each direction of the freeway, extend a second carpool lane, widen bridges and make other improvements to ease traffic congestion for approximately 360,000 drivers who use that part of the freeway daily.
Technology Helping Find the Right Audience
In addition to the virtual events, OCTA began using geofencing campaigns to target hundreds of thousands of residents and commuters that live and drive through specific areas of the I-405 Improvement Project.
This method of advertising allows OCTA to select a 1-mile radius near major construction work. If someone enters that zone with their smartphone, laptop or tablet, they will begin seeing construction alerts on their favorite apps, including ones like Waze or Pandora.
To date, the project team has completed six of these advertising campaigns, reaching nearly 700,000 people.
Moving forward, as restrictions continue to ease, OCTA will continue to build on the success of these virtual outreach efforts as a convenient way to keep the community up to date on its many projects and programs.
The $1.9 billion I-405 Improvement Project will add one regular lane in each direction between Euclid Street and I-605, and a second lane in each direction in the center of the freeway from SR-73 to I-605 that will combine with the existing carpool lanes to form the 405 Express Lanes.