OCTA's streetcar project moves forward

Posted on January 27, 2015

A proposed Calif. streetcar in the cities of Santa Ana and Garden Grove took a step forward when the Santa Ana City Council approved the project environmental impact report, which now sets the stage for the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) to take the lead on project implementation.

From the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center, through Downtown Santa Ana and the Civic Center, the streetcar would operate along 4th Street and Santa Ana Boulevard. The route would continue along the Pacific Electric right-of-way and connect to a new multimodal transit hub at Harbor Boulevard and Westminster Avenue in Garden Grove.

The system is intended to provide “last-mile” transportation for individuals traveling from the transportation hubs to employment and retail and recreational areas in the heart of Orange County.

RELATED: Streetcars Making A Resurgence in the U.S.

The planned streetcar route is just more than four miles long and will include 12 stations. It’s expected that by 2035, the streetcar would carry more than 6,000 riders a day. Initial estimates put the cost of the project at $250 million and it will be jointly funded with OCTA pursuing local, state and federal dollars.

With the certification of the project environmental report by the Santa Ana City Council, OCTA will continue developing the streetcar project, which is a part of the Measure M program. It’s expected the project will move into the design phase later this year with construction expected to begin in 2017. On the current schedule, the streetcar would begin operating in 2019.

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