City of Irvine scores as they find a way to use OCTA funds to pay for their shuttle

The Orange County Transportation Authority Board of Directors today approved an agreement between the agency and the city of Irvine for 30 years of funding for the Irvine Shuttle, a city bus system that links the Tustin Metrolink train station with the Irvine Business Complex, according to the Voice of OC.

What the OCTA and Irvine did was swap money that Irvine had, from Prop. 116, which can only be used for rail, for Measure M2 money, which can be used to fund the Shuttle.  It was actually pretty clever.

Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang fought for this deal and was able to convince the OCTA Board to approve it.

The City of Irvine will still have “skin in the game,” as Supervisor Bill Campbell put it, as they will have to fund ten percent of the Irvine Shuttle budget, ostensibly out of their general fund.

Kang and his allies on the Council get a lot of grief, some of it justified, for their spending.  But this was a good deal and they should be commended for it.

What about the Irvine Shuttle?  It has been much maligned for low ridership.  They are planning to connect its system to the Irvine Spectrum.  That is a good idea.  It is hard to find parking there.

All of this is part of the Irvine Council’s goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by fostering more use of public transportation.

I have not been a believer in global warming, but it is hard to refute that our planet has undergone some pretty dramatic changes over the past few years.  Is it our fault?  China’s?  Who knows?  But the people of California voted this November to reject Prop. 23.  What this means is that, like it or not, this state is going green.  Irvine is ahead of the curve in that regard.

I think that the Irvine City Council will actually function even better now with the addition of Jeff Lalloway, who replaced Christina Shea.  He is bright and experienced in civic affairs.  He will be a good opposing voice on the Council without being rude.

Irvine isn’t out of the woods yet.  They still have to deal with the Great Park, but even there they have made some strides.  I am sure they are working on plans to make it more self-reliant.  There has been chatter about moving the Orange County Seat there.  And some have even talked about moving the Orange County Fair there.  I like the latter idea better than the former.


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