OCTA Plans for $43B Investment in Transportation

Wed December 19, 2018 - West Edition #26
Orange County Transportation Authority

The OCTA has approved a $43B transportation plan.
(OCTA photo)
The OCTA has approved a $43B transportation plan. (OCTA photo)

The Orange County Transportation Authority Board of Directors has approved a $43.4 billion plan that will serve as a blueprint for how people move throughout the county for the next two decades and beyond.

OCTA, the county's transportation planning agency, develops a Long-Range Transportation Plan every four years, taking into consideration changing demographics and anticipated growth in travel demand.

A copy of the plan, called Designing Tomorrow, can be reviewed online at octa.net/lrtp.

"OCTA has earned a reputation for delivering a reliable state-of-the-art transportation system for Orange County," said Lisa Bartlett, OCTA chairwoman, also the county's Fifth District supervisor. "It is precisely this kind of planning, with input from the public and collaboration with our stakeholders, that ensures we are successful in preparing for a diverse transportation future."

The plan establishes transportation priorities and analyzes revenue challenges and emerging transportation issues and technologies.

Orange County's population is expected to grow by 10 percent or by about 311,000 people by 2040, and employment is anticipated to grow by 17 percent — or about 275,000 jobs — over the same time period.

By 2040, it is projected that an additional 1.7 million daily trips will occur in Orange County. That's a 12 percent increase compared to now. Without the OCTA plan and implementation of the projects, it's expected that congestion would increase by an estimated 66 percent.

The LRTP identifies projects to improve roadways, public transit and bike paths, while considering evolving technologies such as autonomous vehicles and on-demand ridesharing.

The plan addresses key issues and challenges, such as the high cost of housing, limited land for expansion of freeways and streets, challenging emissions standards and an evolving public transit market.

The Measure M program, the county's half-cent sales tax for transportation also known as OC Go, is the centerpiece of long-range planning. The plan includes Measure M projects and looks beyond that at additional needs in all areas of Orange County.

To help shape the plan, OCTA sought and received extensive input from the community including:

  • An online survey completed by more than 1,200 people;
  • a telephone town hall, in which nearly 1,000 participants listened in and asked questions; and
  • a quantitative survey with more than 2,500 people who responded.

Several themes emerged as transportation priorities from that input, including:

  • Keeping Orange County moving by continuing to synchronize traffic signals, maintain local roads and improving freeways;
  • expanding transit by exploring innovative transit options; and
  • using a balanced approach to transportation funding by investing across many modes of transportation to help relieve congestion.

The plan will be submitted to the Southern California Association of Governments, where it will serve as Orange County's input into the Regional Transportation Plan, the guiding document for regional transportation planning in Southern California.

For more information, visit octa.net/lrtp.

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