OC transit board to charge $1 for bus schedule

ORANGE — The Orange County Transportation Authority's book of bus schedules will now cost commuters $1.

Orange County Transportation Authority board members today approved a plan to charge $1 for the 190-page book that lists each bus route and schedule, the authority's Joel Zlotnik said.

"It's part of an effort to really control costs and reduce the amount OCTA has to print the schedule at a time when we're looking to save money any where we can,'' Zlotnik said.

Commuters can still access the routes online for free or at public libraries, city halls and senior centers, Zlotnik said.

Demand for the bus schedule has declined over the years as more commuters seek information online or via cell phone text messages.

"We've seen more people utilize our text message service that gives them the next three scheduled arrival times of buses,'' Zlotnik said.

The agency printed 800,000 copies of its bus schedule in the 2005-06 year, but 360,000 in the 2009-10 fiscal year.

The agency budgeted $212,000 to print 400,000 of the books. That money covers costs for production, shipping and printing, but not the expense of staff time making them, he added.

By charging $1 for the books, the agency is looking to break even on the costs, Zlotnik said.