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Tim Brown
Tim Brown

By Councilman Tim Brown

As elected leaders of the San Clemente City Council, it is our goal to continually find ways to improve the already amazing livability of our beautiful community. However, with many competing needs, we are required to make difficult decisions on where to spend our limited resources and time in the most efficient manner.

Grant funding is an excellent way to address these needs without compromising key services. For example, grants often get expensive transportation projects off the ground and help the city of San Clemente provide improved options for our residents and visitors to get around San Clemente. Recently, the city applied for funding opportunities via grants from the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and just received approval late last month in support of these projects with substantial funding. The funding will help the city expand upon its comprehensive multimodal plan as established in its recent update of the General Plan.

The two approved projects are a first for San Clemente: a San Clemente Summer Trolley and public Rideshare program. Both projects utilize alternative modes of transportation to move around San Clemente affordably and extensively while helping to reduced traffic. Allow me to share the highlights from these transportation options, which the city will implement next year.

Summer Trolley Service: The OCTA board approved $1.2 million for a summer trolley in San Clemente, which will begin operations in the summer of 2017. The city is required to provide an 11 percent match for capital and 10 percent for operations and maintenance. The trolley will operate during summer weekends and special events and will connect the Pier, Metrolink train stations at Pier and North Beach, Ole Hanson Beach Club, El Camino Real, The Outlets and downtown Avenida Del Mar. The service will operate during summer weekends—Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays—for approximately 10 hours per day and will also provide special event service on the Fourth of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Rideshare Service: The OCTA board approved $914,400 for a Rideshare service, the first of its kind for San Clemente. The city is required to provide a 10 percent match. This project will provide year-round transit mobility for the existing users of Bus Routes 191 and 193 following the termination of the current bus service. It would function similar to an on-demand Uber or Lyft type services for residents. It would use existing infrastructure and is expected to help offset the loss of key public transportation bus routes and give our residents greater mobility options in the neighborhoods where they live. The Rideshare service will also provide special events support for key holidays similar to the Summer Trolley Service.

I for one am very excited for the bright transportation future that San Clemente is facing. Information regarding these two new modes of transportation will be available on the City website soon at www.san-clemente.org.

I’d like to hear your comments on this subject and others, and can be reached at BrownT@san-clemente.org. Please have a wonderful summer.

Tim Brown is a City Councilman in San Clemente. He was re-elected to City Council in 2014 and served as mayor during that year.

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