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By Lillian Boyd
The wheels are in motion and the Dana Point Trolley is back after its relaunch Memorial Day weekend. After a year’s hiatus due to COVID-19, the trolley program’s return is a momentous occasion.
“We are now encouraging the community to aboard the trolley and explore Dana Point,” said Vickie McMurchie, executive director of the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce.
With the city serving as a major hub to neighboring South Orange County cities, the routes aim to help riders get to the cities of Laguna Beach, Dana Point, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, and the community of Rancho Mission Viejo. New routes this year aimed to improve overall connectivity.
But with the Hop and Shop event, riders can scan the official Hop & Shop QR code to take advantage of exclusive offers without having to leave the city. Local restaurants and shops in Dana Point are offering special deals for the entire month of June, while the Trolley is in operation.
The City of Dana Point is a recipient of grant funds under Project V from the OCTA to operate the trolley program. In light of the pandemic, the OCTA Board of Directors modified its guidelines to be a bit more lenient on cities; however, funding for the program will still be tied to ridership.
In order to meet state health and transit guidelines, staff is currently planning to reduce capacity to provide the required social distancing. Riders and trolley drivers are required to wear face coverings over the nose and mouth while riding the trolley—until further guidance is received from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each trolley will be stocked with a supply of face coverings for riders who do not have them.
Each trolley will be cleaned hourly to sanitize all high-touch areas and passenger seating. Deep cleaning of each trolley will be conducted on a weekly basis after operating hours. Touchless hand sanitizer dispensers will be available on each trolley for riders to use before and after riding the trolley.
Passengers wishing to board the trolley shall wait for on-board passengers to exit the trolley before entering the trolley.
Dana Point’s trolley operation began on Friday, May 28, for Memorial Day weekend. The trolleys will offer weekend service only through Sunday, June 20. Daily trolley service will begin on Friday, June 25, and continue through Labor Day, Sept. 6. For daily service, hours will be noon to 9 p.m. from Monday through Thursday; noon to 10 p.m. on Friday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Participating businesses include Coffee Importers Scoop Deck & Deli, Brio Tuscany Grille, iHeartYoga, Killer Dana, Rad Brat, Luxe Restaurant and Martini Bar and many more. For more information, visit danapointchamber.com/hopandshop.