By Eric Heinz
San Clemente’s summer trolley program exceeded expectations last season with regard to ridership, and now the San Clemente City Council is looking to expand the program to daily service starting Memorial Day Weekend and ending Labor Day Weekend.
City Council was provided a few options at its March 20 meeting. The other options were to expand service north and either connect or not to the Dana Point trolley line and to expand to a South El Camino Real route.
The Council voted to apply for Measure M (Project V) funding from Orange County Transportation Authority and to examine connecting to the Dana Point trolley next year, and then the south San Clemente route in two years.
The appeal of connecting to Dana Point is that the service also connects trolleys through to Laguna Beach. People could ride for free for about 10 to 15 miles around the area, but the logistics of this route are still being discussed.
The project will cost the city a $12,500 match (10 percent) of the $125,000 grant.
City Council also voted to apply for $157,000, with the same match, to continue its Lyft Rideshare program. The city is trying to add a phone number for people to call the service as well as increase credits for people who use the service frequently.
Council member Lori Donchak said the city should make it a point that this program was established in lieu of the two bus routes, the 191 and 193, that were discontinued by OCTA in 2016.
The decision as to whether the city is approved for the grants will come in the next few weeks.