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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 9, 2000
Your June 18 article, "Board Bans Purchase of Diesel Buses, Trash Trucks," accurately describes the sweeping new air quality regulations adopted by the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the benefits it will bring to the environment. However, it failed to note that the Orange County Transportation Authority has already moved in this direction, not because we were forced to but because we believe it to be the right thing to do. In October 1998, the OCTA board of directors voted to end future purchases of diesel buses and commit to liquefied natural gas, making OCTA the first transit district in the state to pursue 100% LNG for its standard 40-foot bus fleet.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 20, 2009 | Tami Abdollah
It wasn't that long ago that Orange County's public transit system was named best in the country. Just 2005, in fact. The Orange County Transportation Authority was lauded for its service to the nation's fifth most populous county, logging a record number of bus trips and ridership growth. The agency was leading the way in green technology, the economy was booming and sales-tax revenue was pouring in. OCTA officials celebrated the honor by plastering a gold-medal logo, with their new bragging rights printed across it, onto the agency's 947 buses.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 1994
In 1990, Disneyland bankrolled the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Measure M sales tax campaign. Now, the OCTA is applying for federal and state grants so taxpayers will pick up the tab for Disney's $220-million parking structure and connector roads to the Santa Ana Freeway. Could these facts be linked? Last year, Michael Eisner, Disney's head honcho, was paid over $200 million. If Goofy needs a garage and Donald wants a driveway, why doesn't Uncle Mikey pay for them?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 23, 2009 | My-Thuan Tran
The state's top transportation official has been hired to direct the Orange County Transportation Authority, a job that comes with a much larger salary and, perhaps, a lot less frustration. Will Kempton has headed the California Department of Transportation for the last five years, overseeing 50,000 miles of state highways and directing $10 billion worth of transportation projects. He was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to steer the state's $14-billion transportation budget.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 15, 1995
I read with amusement your article on Orange County Transportation Authority Chief Executive Stan Oftelie ("OCTA Head Praised Citron Days Before Bond Debacle," Jan. 4). I did not, however, understand why he was considered as a serious choice to replace Ernie Schneider as county administrator. Who favors him and why? To write a letter praising Citron three days before the crisis was disclosed and eight days before the county entered bankruptcy would indicate at the best absolutely no oversight capability on his part.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 13, 1992
The poorly designed periwinkle blue and white yuppie Metrolink train cars symbolize the arrogance and denial of the OCTA. For $1.3 million a car, excluding the engine and last car, which has an engineer's station for reverse running, you would think that the customer's needs would be met or exceeded. Was the knee-to-knee intimacy and no overhead baggage stowage that was traded for "improved lighting," bathrooms, wheelchair lifts and soon-to-be-installed cellular phones reasonable?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 9, 2000
Re "On the 57 Bus, a Feeling That OCTA Is Misdirected," March 26: Thank you for front-paging the bus route change article. The lack of consideration (if not contempt) that officialdom has again shown for the citizens of the county based on alleged requirements of "efficiency" highlights why the electorate has turned to [ballot] measures to replace elected and appointed officials' decision-making. The elimination of Route 57 places an enormous burden on low-paid workers and minorities.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 27, 2000
Re "OCTA Seeks Help for Seniors," July 11: The Orange County Transportation Authority is wise to seek the cooperation of local cities and businesses--like building roads, public transportation should not be the sole responsibility of a single agency. On the other hand, OCTA could alleviate demand by seniors (and the disabled) for Access--the expensive door-to-door paratransit service--by making bus service more attractive. This means providing a greater number of local community routes and more frequent service.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 7, 1994
Orwell would love it. Sarah Catz, the "public member" of the Orange County Transportation Authority, is actually chosen by the elected board members, and as such is the only voting member not accountable to the public. Her Op-Ed piece ("Transit Center Is a Win-Win Project for the Public and Disney," July 31), which defends their attempt to spend our gas taxes on the Disney garage, seems a bit late. The OCTA did not mention the garage last November when they approved the I-405/SR-55 interchange project without comment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 12, 1999
Re "How to Frustrate a Lot of People? It Takes Planning," column by Dana Parsons, Dec. 1: The Orange County Transportation Authority has not done good planning because they are mired in the past, playing with trains. Luckily, they are not in charge of fire services or bucket brigades would be their best idea for firefighting. OCTA must first reject all ideas that include rail and concrete. There is no future for either. Next they must study what have been the most successful traffic mitigation programs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 24, 2009 | Tami Abdollah
The Orange County Transportation Authority board named Jim Kenan as interim chief executive of the organization Monday. Kenan, executive director of finance and administration, has been with OCTA since 1979. He will take over for Art Leahy, who led the agency for eight years and is leaving to head the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Kenan will serve in the post until the board names a permanent chief. -- Tami Abdollah
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 28, 2008 | Paloma Esquivel, Esquivel is a staff writer.
The Orange County Transportation Authority voted unanimously Monday to close a popular bus terminal in Santa Ana. The terminal, which is across the street from the county courthouse and other central buildings, will be closed for safety reasons beginning Dec. 14, officials said. Arthur T. Leahy, chief executive of the transit agency, said the terminal lacks adequate ventilation for the county's new buses, which run on natural gas.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 27, 2008 | Paloma Esquivel, Times Staff Writer
By next year, about 40% of Orange County's buses will be equipped with cameras to monitor passengers and record onboard incidents. The cameras, purchased with grant money from the federal Department of Homeland Security beginning two years ago, were intended to serve as a digital watchdog against crime and a deterrent to potential threats. But officials said that none of the cameras installed on more than 100 buses so far have been used to look for criminal activity -- in part because the images were not monitored live.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 24, 2008 | David Reyes, Times Staff Writer
Transportation planners today approved an agreement with Lehman Bros. and others to evaluate whether the bond debt for the 91 Freeway toll lanes in Orange County needs to be refinanced. The action was prompted after the bond insurer for the 91 Express Lanes debt was downgraded by several credit agencies. As a result, the interest rates on the bonds have increased and are now costing the Orange County Transportation Authority, which operates the toll lanes, $30,000 a week, an OCTA official said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 18, 2008 | David Reyes, Times Staff Writer
Six months ago, Orange County transit officials sat down to develop a plan to address a potential nationwide fuel crisis. The worst-case scenario? Gasoline selling for $4.50 a gallon. "Our worst-case is now emerging as our best-case scenario," Art Leahy, chief executive of the Orange County Transportation Authority, recently told KNX-AM (1070) radio. OCTA operates about 475 buses that carry 225,000 riders daily; Metrolink carries an additional 11,000 daily riders in the county.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 10, 2008 | David Reyes, Times Staff Writer
Priorities for Orange County's largest transportation agency include improvements to Metrolink and bus service, road repairs and freeway construction, officials said Monday. The improvements were part of a $1-billion-plus budget approved for the Orange County Transportation Authority's fiscal year that begins July 1. The renewal of a sales tax two years ago gave voters a hand in choosing transportation projects for the county, said OCTA Chairman Chris Norby.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 20, 2009 | Tami Abdollah
It wasn't that long ago that Orange County's public transit system was named best in the country. Just 2005, in fact. The Orange County Transportation Authority was lauded for its service to the nation's fifth most populous county, logging a record number of bus trips and ridership growth. The agency was leading the way in green technology, the economy was booming and sales-tax revenue was pouring in. OCTA officials celebrated the honor by plastering a gold-medal logo, with their new bragging rights printed across it, onto the agency's 947 buses.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 11, 2001
Re "Plan to Add 720 Miles of Bike Paths Is OKd," Aug. 28: The article was misleading. The misleading information was apparently supplied by the Orange County Transportation Authority. The plan referred to is the OCTA bike plan, entitled the Commuter Bikeways Strategic Plan, which I'm familiar with, since I was involved with development of both original (1995) and updated (2001) versions. Although I have not bicycled since 1995, when I was hit by a car and severely injured, I'm extremely familiar with the Orange County bikeways system, having personally bicycled about 200,000 miles there.
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