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OCTA, Lake Forest Team Up for Pilot Carpool Program

A grant from Orange County Transit Authority will pay 90 percent of the cost of leasing vans to take employees from an Amtrak station to two Lake Forest job sites.

A five-year pilot OC Transportation Authority program aims to make getting to work in Lake Forest easier for employees of two major local companies.

A $287,725 OCTA grant awarded to Lake Forest in late July is earmarked to subsidize 90 percent of the cost of leasing vans to take employees from the Irvine Amtrak station to two Lake Forest workplaces. The project is slated to get the final go-ahead from the Lake Forest City Council Tuesday.

Employees of companies Oakley and Invensys will be the beneficiaries of the program, which is funded by the second iteration of Measure M transportation tax, known as Measure M2.

City staffers cite the feedback received through the city's business visitation program, through which staffers regularly solicit local companies for their take on how the city is operating with regards to its businesses, as the inspiration for the public-private partnership.

These approved companies, among the largest in Lake Forest, will send OCTA via the city 10 percent of the vans' operating costs. In the first year of the program, Invensys and Oakley plan to use one van each, though of different sizes, remitting $1,181 and $1,344 respectively to the OCTA via the city, according to a staff report.

The carpool program is intended to benefit OCTA with increased use of Amtrak; Lake Forest with fewer cars on its streets; Oakley and Invensys by making it easier to retain out-of-town talent; and employees with simpler commutes, according to city staffers.

The council will discuss the program at its regularly scheduled Tuesday meeting, beginning at 7 p.m. in City Hall, 25550 Commercentre Dr.

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