By Eric Heinz

The successes of the San Clemente Summer Trolley Program have garnered attention from Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), according to City Councilmember Lori Donchak.

On July 24, the City Council voted to extend the trolley services to seven days a week, serving Monday through Friday from noon to 10 p.m.; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays.

The city will have to put an additional $12,000 toward the 10 percent matching grant, which was denoted as $108,000 in the document, but Donchak said the grant allocations are far more than that, and that the city was allocated a solid percentage of the funds from the OCTA’s grant program.

Donchak said OCTA is using San Clemente as an “experiment” in public ridership, as the trolley numbers keep surpassing required minimums by three-fold. Donchak also said OCTA has recognized that as the city was stripped of its two bus routes in 2016, which may be a contributing factor. The trolley is free to ride.

Daily service may not start until Aug. 6 or 13, according to a city staff report.

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