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No San Clemente Trolley Study for Now

The San Clemente City Council Tuesday told staffers to scrap plans for a consultant to study setting up a trolley-type bus service in town.

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.

Lindsey Hanson November 26, 2012 at 04:21 PM
WE HAVE A TROLLY! It's called the bus and NO ONE rides it now. No one will treat the TROLLY any differently than a bus. BIG WASTE of money!
Mike DanaPoint November 26, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Summer free trolley between dana point and laguna beach is packed, especially late nights. Problem with current OCTA #1 bus is schedule and frequency, make it available late night from San Clem to Laguna Beach, run it frequent, at least every 15min, and over the weekends until at least midnight, and I guarantee ridership will soar. Call it a trolley or a bus, that hardly matters, what matters is frequency and late night service!
Dan Bane November 27, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Might be a great way to integrate Talega, Forester Ranch, and Rancho San Clemente with the rest of town and help alleviate the parking issues. Would love to see if it is a viable option.
DJ November 27, 2012 at 07:10 PM
I would love to see a trolley in San Clemente. Like Dan said, it would cut down on parking issues on Del Mar, it will also bring tourists and local residents into the downtown area to help the small businesses to prosper. The summer concerts, festivals and other events would be easier to access. Hopefully, it will be implemented and someone that "just likes to be negative" will not ruin it for the rest of us by showing up at the meeting with problems and not solutions.
Adam Townsend November 28, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Hey all. I just updated this story with the results of the vote.

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