Orange County approves $43.4 billion transportation plan

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Courtesy of Orange County Transportation Authority

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) says that its board of directors has approved a $43.4 billion plan that will serve as a blueprint for how people move throughout the county for the next two decades and beyond.

The plan establishes transportation priorities and analyzes revenue challenges and emerging transportation issues and technologies.

Orange County’s population is expected to grow by 10% or by about 311,000 people by 2040, and employment is anticipated to grow by 17% – or about 275,000 jobs – over the same time period. By 2040, it is projected that an additional 1.7 million daily trips will occur in Orange County, a 12% increase compared to now.

The Long-Range Transportation Plan, updated by the OCTA about every four years, identifies projects to improve roadways, public transit and bike paths, while considering evolving technologies such as autonomous vehicles and on-demand ridesharing.

The plan addresses key issues and challenges, such as the high cost of housing, limited land for expansion of freeways and streets, challenging emissions standards and an evolving public transit market.

The Measure M program, the county’s half-cent sales tax for transportation also known as OC Go, is the centerpiece of long-range planning. The plan includes Measure M projects and looks beyond that at additional needs in all areas of Orange County.

The plan will be submitted to the Southern California Association of Governments, where it will serve as Orange County’s input into the Regional Transportation Plan, the guiding document for regional transportation planning in Southern California.

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