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California Briefing | ORANGE COUNTY

Transit budget at $1.06 billion

June 10, 2008|David Reyes

The Orange County Transportation Authority approved a $1.06-billion budget Monday, earmarking funds for improvements to Metrolink and bus service, road repairs and freeway construction, officials said.

Roughly $266 million will go for bus service, including a new Bus Rapid Transit system in which buses stop every mile. About 225,000 people ride buses daily in Orange County.

Each department was asked to reduce costs 2% to allow the agency to maintain the same level of bus service to compensate for reductions in the sales tax revenue and fare revenue -- both due to the slumping economy, said Joel Zlotnik, an OCTA spokesman.

OCTA budgeted nearly $170 million to pay for Metrolink upgrades that include more parking at train stations, station construction and more trains.

Other projects for fiscal 2008-09 include construction of connectors from the 405 Freeway to the 605 Freeway, widening the 5 Freeway to 10 lanes near the Los Angeles County line, and adding transit options to and from Metrolink stations.


-- David Reyes

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