Santa Ana — New Era of Transit?
The Orange County Register reported that the 4.15 mile planned streetcar could be a "game changer" sparking improved transit throughout the region.
Miguel Pulido, mayor of Santa Ana and a member of the Orange County Transportation Authority was quoted as saying "It think it will grow. But crawl, walk, run; you’ve got to take the first step. And this is the first step.” The streetcar is planed to run through areas now served by buses, with 10 stops in each direction concentrated in Santa Ana’s Civic Center area and the eastern edge of Garden Grove.
The project is estimated to cost $289 million to build. It has received environmental clearance, entered the project development phase and is in the running for $144 million in federal funds. If full funding is granted by by 2017 construction could begin leading to carrying passengers in 2019, according to OCTA.
The mayor envisions the initial streetcar route as the focal point of an expanded streetcar system that would connect key parts of Orange County as more legs are added. From its western terminus Mayor Pulido suggests additional routes to Harbor Boulevard and Katella Avenue reaching Disneyland in Anaheim. It could then be extended to the north to the Fullerton Transportation Center.
From the midpoint of the first line, at Bristol and Santa Ana Boulevard, the mayor envisions a branch heading south toward John Wayne Airport. In the meantime, the initial line--to be branded as OC Streetcar--would inspire economic development on the western part of the line and help the busy Fourth Street district in Santa Ana. The streetcar would bring back to life part of the abandoned right of way that once carried Paciifc Electric Red Cars from Santa Ana to Los Angeles.