Updated at with council vote and quotes at 11:24 a.m., Nov. 28.
Would an in-town trolley service be useful in San Clemente? Not now, said San Clemente City Council members Tuesday.
They unanimously denied a request for consultants to determine whether a trolley service would be worthwhile and to help write a grant application to the Orange County Transportation Authority for money to implement it.
Members agreed there wasn't enough demand in town, at least until the Marblehead Outlets were built and North Beach was more developed.
"I want to love this project so much, but I have a hard time believing we'll be competitive," said Councilwoman Lori Donchak.
Measure M2 funds would supply the money for the service, and it would be contingent on having at least an average of 10 riders per trip. Estimates for such a service include and initial investment of $208,000 and a total operating cost of $403,000 per year, assuming the bus or trolley operates 12 hours per day. About $350,000 would come from OCTA and $53,000 from the city.
Bob Baker called the study a waste of cash.
"This is grant money looking for a home," he said.
City Manager George Scarborough pointed out that the idea for a circulating in-town trolley had been under vague discussion in General Plan and traffic committees, as well as the council, for years.
He suggested in light of the council's Tuesday decision, to remove mention of a possible trolley service from long-term traffic plans as they come to the council for approval.