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OCTA Cuts Budget by 25%, Will Layoff 400 Workers

Earlier today OCTA workers rallied before the Board Meeting to protest proposals to cut 400 jobs. The OCTA Board didn’t hear them. The OCRegister filed this video report today.

The Orange County Register reports:

Since June 2008, OCTA has ordered 133,000 hours cut from bus service annually – which will affect 26 routes this coming June.

Monday’s decision to eliminate 400,000 hours is in addition to hours previously cut. Exactly how those changes will affect routes has not yet been determined.

Fares paid by riders cover about 21 percent of OCTA’s $266 million annual budget for bus operations, agency spokesman Joel Zlotnik said. The rest is covered by taxpayers.

Riders and bus drivers asked the board not to make the cuts or to consider part-time hours and furloughs instead of layoffs.

OCTA directors said they made the cuts to save agency reserves in case the economic picture doesn’t get any better, but hoped they could start to restore services in a year’s time.

“There will be people waiting on sidewalks for buses,” said agency director and Orange Mayor Carolyn Cavecche. “We realize that.”

Read the rest of the Register story here.