Jane Reifer is Chair of Transit Advocates of Orange County
The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) conducted a public hearing on July 25 to receive input on a bus system update that will add service to core routes by eliminating service on so-called “unproductive” routes. The high productivity routes will be more convenient, but at the cost of removing bus coverage. OCTA claims that only 1% of riders will be affected by route elimination, but in Fullerton, for example, almost 20% of route miles will be permanently eliminated.
Fullerton Mayor Fred Jung serves as an OCTA Director representing several north Orange County cities and advocated saving several of the routes proposed for elimination.
This service plan would have significant impacts on Fullerton and north Orange County bus service usability, which already has connectivity issues due to the underlying street network gaps caused by hills, rail lines, and flood control channels. Transit Advocates of OC believes skeletal lifeline service can be retained without significant reductions in core improvements.
“Cutting bus services will be detrimental to our residents, especially students, seniors and folks who rely on busses to get to work,” Councilmember Ahmad Zahra said.
While OCTA received over 4,000 survey responses in their public outreach, respondents were limited to giving opinions on only four routes. The Board of Directors heard testimony from several bus riders and will vote in October when the new route schedules are developed. Although OCTA offers an audio broadcast, it does not allow real-time remote public comments through phone or Zoom, like most other public agencies do.
Route eliminations and reductions include:
– Route 37 – Removal of all service north of Commonwealth.
–Route 43 – Will now terminate at Fullerton Transportation Center, rather than North Court, removing most southbound service from Fullerton College.
– Route 123 – Removal of all service on Chapman and Malvern Ave in Fullerton (all east-west service from Fullerton College).
– Route 153 – Route elimination includes removal of service on Associated Rd., and on Placentia Ave. between Nutwood and State College.
– Routes 29/129 – Service on Beach Blvd north of Artesia reduced to hourly instead of half hourly service, ending at 8pm instead of current 1am.
Route improvements include:
– Route 26 – Commonwealth will now run until 9pm instead of 6pm on weekends.
– Route 43 – Harbor will now run every 20 minutes instead of every 24 on weekdays, and every 15 minutes instead of 25 on weekends.
– Route 47 – Lemon will now run every 15 minutes instead of every 20 on weekdays and run until 11pm instead of 9pm.
More About Proposed Bus Changes: https://octa.net/pdf/BetterConnectionsBooklet-ProposedServicePlan-2022.pdf
If you’re interested in Fullerton bus service, write to: CouncilMembers@cityoffullerton.com or contact Clerk of the OCTA Board: ClerkOffice@octa.net.
Transit Advocates of Orange County: TAOC@earthlink.net or call (714) 525-3678 (no texts).