Darrell E. Johnson

Chief Executive Officer
Orange County Transportation Authority

Darrell E. Johnson serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), a dynamic agency consisting of 1,400 dedicated professionals. With a focus on enhancing mobility and sustainability for over 3 million county residents, Johnson leads a comprehensive portfolio of multimodal projects, initiatives, and services.

Guided by OCTA’s 17-member Board of Directors, Mr. Johnson oversees an annual budget exceeding $1.7 billion. His role encompasses strategic oversight of the planning, financing, and implementation of Orange County’s freeway, street, and rail development, in addition to managing countywide transit and commuter-rail services, paratransit service, Express Lanes, active transportation and environmental programs.

Since his appointment as CEO in 2013, Mr. Johnson has championed innovative financing methods to optimize the impact of Measure M, a voter-approved half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements. He has led a drive toward a more sustainable and equitable transportation network, marked by pioneering environmental mitigation and water-quality initiatives, and a trailblazing shift towards a zero-emission bus fleet.

OCTA currently has nearly $4 billion of infrastructure improvements under construction. Among these is the $2 billion I-405 Improvement Project including the 405 Express Lanes, the agency’s most ambitious undertaking to date. Further, the OC Streetcar, a state-of-the-art electric streetcar, will introduce Orange County to modern streetcar technology.

In shaping Orange County’s transportation landscape, Mr. Johnson continues to lead an overhaul of the transit system. With a focus on efficiency, passenger experience, and alignment with market demands, he has ushered in reforms including a redesigned bus system, free fares for youth and community college students, and the advancement of community-based and special-event transit services. Embracing innovation and improved connectivity, OCTA explores dynamic technology solutions, strategic private-sector alliances, and on-demand microtransit projects.

On a broader scale, Mr. Johnson represents OCTA on matters of local, state, and national policy pertaining to successful transportation program planning, financing, and delivery. He sits on the boards of the Self-Help Counties Coalition, Mobility 21, and Orange County Business Council.

Mr. Johnson lives in Rancho Santa Margarita and is married with two children.