Orange County Transit District (OCTD) directors on Monday received a $91.1-million preliminary budget that envisions a steady flow of federal transit revenues and preliminary construction of three new transportation centers in south and west Orange County.
The proposed budget is 6.3% higher than spending on the district's bus-fleet, ride-sharing and transit-planning operations during the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.
It envisions retaining most programs at the current levels, though operating costs per passenger are expected to rise 4.9%, to $2.14. The amount of those costs recovered by fare-box revenues is expected to hold fairly steady at 23.7%, however.
Federal Revenues Uncertain
James Reichert, the district's general manager, said his proposed budget anticipates that federal transit revenues will remain fairly constant, despite threats of transit-subsidy reductions to help offset the federal deficit.
Still, the district will not be assured of steady revenues for another several months, and one formula under discussion could reduce those subsidies by "several million dollars" this year and even more in the next several years, Reichert said.
Three new transportation centers, in Laguna Hills, Huntington Beach and Newport Beach, are the major capital expenditures proposed for next year. The three centers, with a combination of route-transfer, bus-layover and park-and-ride facilities, will complete the countywide system of bus transportation centers first envisioned by OCTD during the late 1970s.
Plans for Three Centers
The budget allocates about $7.8 million for the three centers during the 1985-86 fiscal year, which begins July 1. Construction of the Laguna Hills center, which was authorized for bidding on Monday, is expected to begin this summer.
Work on the Huntington Beach center is to follow later this year, with construction in Newport Beach to begin in early 1987.
Brian Pearson, the district's director of development, said OCTD officials hope to expand the transportation center program to include curb-side or leased transfer stations at an additional three to six shopping malls throughout the county during the next several years.
The OCTD board scheduled a work session May 20 to discuss the budget.