Orange County Transportation Authority officials Monday outlined its agenda for this year including beefing up security on buses, adding hydrogen fuel buses and various other traffic improvements.

“OCTA looks forward to a very active and productive 2019, as these initiatives reflect the board’s dedication to improving the way we travel throughout Orange County and plan for the future of our regional transportation system,” said OCTA board chairman Tim Shaw, who is also a La Habra city councilman.

Shaw pointed to the ongoing reconstruction of eight bridges as part of the San Diego (405) Freeway expansion that is expected to be done by 2023 as well as an expansion of the Anaheim Canyon Metrolink station. Construction is also slated to start on the Santa Ana (5) Freeway improvements between Route 73 and El Toro Road in south Orange County.

OCTA will also review various options to improve traffic along Bristol Street in Santa Ana and through portions of Costa Mesa, said Joel Zlotnik, an OCTA spokesman.

OCTA officials also plan to continue “strengthening” partnerships with Riverside County officials on the Riverside (91) Freeway, Zlotnik said.

Express bus routes will also be started this year on Beach Boulevard, the spokesman said.

The agency has one hydrogen fuel cell bus, which fuels up courtesy of a pump at UC Irvine, but OCTA aims to add 10 more and build its own fueling station, Zlotnik said.

The agency rarely sees serious crime on its buses, but Shaw wants OCTA to complete various pilot projects to enhance safety measures, Zlotnik said.

“He wanted to highlight that to raise the level of importance” of rider and employee safety, Zlotnik said.

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