County transit officials on Monday moved ahead with plans to hold the American Public Transit Assn.'s annual trade show in 1996, which could bring thousands of transit experts to the county and generate an estimated $15 million for the local economy.
County officials said they hope to line up some corporate sponsorships to help defray some of the expense of holding the transit convention.
As the Orange County Transportation Authority voted Monday to have staff members investigate such details, several OCTA directors voiced strong support.
"I think if we don't do this, we're missing an opportunity," said Irv Pickler, an OCTA director. "I think this can work."
The public transit association this month recommended Orange County as the host site for their 1996 event. Transit officials said the show would most likely be held at the Anaheim Convention Center.
A staff report presented to the OCTA on Monday outlined the expenditures for such an event. It could cost the OCTA about $200,000 and thousands of staff hours to prepare, officials said.
OCTA director Roger R. Stanton, who cast the only opposing vote, cited concern over the expense. But, he added, "I certainly see all the positive sides. I recognize the economic value of this."
Staff members were directed Monday to report back to the OCTA board in 90 days outlining how OCTA will finance the event and coordinate other logistics with the American Public Transit Assn.