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By Andrea Swayne
The city of Dana Point’s free summer weekend trolley service is set to begin on Friday, June 26 and run through Sept. 7 with stops at 15 locations.
The Dana Point PCH Trolley will run Friday from noon to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The route connects with the Laguna Beach Trolley at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel stop.
San Juan Capistrano has also started their own free summer weekend trolley, however the route is exclusive to San Juan and there are no stops linking it with Dana Point’s service. More information about the SJC Trolley can be found at www.missionsjc.com/visit/trolley.
Dana Point’s trolley service is a pilot program that, in order to maintain grant funding from the Orange County Transportation Authority for its operation, must attract a minimum ridership of 10 boardings per hour, or 500 per day, city officials said.
Unlike San Juan’s trolley service—one traditional open-air trolley on loan from the city of Brea—Dana Point’s will start out with four leased shuttle vans/buses with graphic wraps designed to resemble woodie wagons. Should this first summer prove successful, the vehicle provider will buy open-air trolleys for ongoing service in Dana Point.
Trolleys arrive at stops every 15 minutes however, officials advise that services could be delayed during particularly heavy traffic conditions.
In support of the trolley and local businesses, the Dana Point Lantern District Alliance—a group of area business owners—with sponsor Libre Tequila, has organized a “Trolley Hop” kick-off event for June 26 with a number of Dana Point restaurants and bars offering food specials under $6 and drinks under $5 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
In order to receive the discounts, attendees must purchase an inaugural Dana Point Trolley mug for $10 online or at DPLDA member locations, including Luxe Restaurant & Martini Bar, Brio Tuscany Grille, Luciana’s Restaurant, Harbor Delicatessen, Coffee Importers and Boneyard Café. A full list of participating bars and restaurants is available at www.danapointlda.com.