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Orange County Dealing with Its Own Transit Funding Crisis

10_27_08_OCTA_bus.jpg

Over the weekend, the Times reported on a transit funding crisis in Orange County that could lead to a large fare increase and the closing of a popular bus terminal.  Could this be Los Angeles' future if Measure R doesn't pass?  Mayor Villaraigosa would certainly like you to believe so.

In addition to closing the popular Santa Ana bus terminal, across thestreet from the county courthouse and other civic buildings, the OrangeCounty Transportation Authority will consider hiking fares for thefirst time in four years. The cost of one ride would increase from$1.25 to $1.50 and a day pass from $3 to $4; monthly passes would gofrom $45 to $55. Other fares, such as those for seniors and people withdisabilities, would also rise.

OCTA officials say the hike is necessary to cover increased healthcareand pension costs, high fuel expenses and reduced state funds fortransportation. The terminal closure, they say, is necessary becausethe agency can't afford necessary safety upgrades.

We should know the fate of the Bus Station and the fare hikes soon, the OCTA Board is meeting this morning and their budget crisis is on the agenda.

Photo: Morven/Flickr

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