The Orange County Transportation Authority board on Monday approved a $1.26 billion budget that was up from $1 billion last year due to an anticipated increase in service.
Funding for more buses on routes with the highest ridership is part of a 4 percent increase in expected bus service, according to OCTA.
The agency just rolled out the new Bravo bus route along 12 miles of Harbor Boulevard from the Fullerton Transportation Center to MacArthur Boulevard in Costa Mesa. Passing through Anaheim, Garden Grove and Santa Ana, the route is free from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Wednesday as an introduction to riders.
They and others, of course, will be paying that back through increased bus fares imposed in February, when riders started having to pay $2 instead of $1.50. Day passes went up to $5, and the monthly pass jumped from $55 to $69.
The $281 million for bus operations the board approved was a $14 million increase over last fiscal year. City News Service reports other planned spending in the budget includes: $322 million in Measure M funds for street and road projects; and about $200 million for rail improvements, including the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center, the Placentia Metrolink station and the State College grade separation project.