When the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) laid off drivers due to a recent reduction in bus service, it appeared to be just the latest of casualties at the hands of a local agency.

But thanks to a unique public-private partnership among the OCTA, Anaheim Transportation Network and Disneyland Resort, 15 bus drivers will be back at work and 20 buses will avoid going unused.

The buses and drivers will instead be used to service Disney’s new expansion and opening of its new Toy Story Parking Lot.

“We are fortunate to be part of a community with leaders who are willing to roll up their sleeves to figure out a way to creatively address issues,” said George Kalogridis, president of the Disneyland Resort. “This is a wonderful example of a public-private partnership at its best.”

Transportation to and from the parking lot will be provided through the Anaheim Transportation Network (ATN), which is leasing OCTA buses that were not in service due to the recent reductions.

The partnership serves as a lesson to how the public world can work with the private sector during tough economic times.

“OCTA’s partnership with ATN and Disneyland Resort is an ideal example of how government and the private sector can successfully work together to deliver transportation solutions at a time when we are forced to reduce service because of state funding cuts and declining sales tax and ridership,” said OCTA Chairman Jerry Amante, mayor of Tustin. “We are very pleased to see that these buses, bought with taxpayer dollars, will continue serving the public and generating revenue to support OCTA transit operations.”

The new lot will operate daily and add 2,678 new parking spaces to 1,000 already existing spots. Disneyland Resort’s multiyear expansion was announced in 2007.

“The ATN’s commitment to our customers and to the community at large, is an asset toward further improvement the transportation experience in-and-around the entire Anaheim Resort destination. The Anaheim Resort Transit system’s goal is to provide an outstanding experience for Anaheim Resort guests, while meeting our goals of enhancing mobility,” said ATN Chairman Paul Sanford.