By Andrea Papagianis

Pacific Coast Trolley Route
The city’s proposed summer trolley route down Pacific Coast Highway. Courtesy of the city of Dana Point

The city of Dana Point has submitted its application for funding to kick-start a summer and special event shuttle program, which could roll down streets next year.

As part of the Orange County Transportation Authority’s Project V—which encourages municipalities to develop transit systems based on community needs—approved cities could receive a maximum of $525,000 a year for a five-year period to establish local transit routes, according to transit authority documents.

Dana Point applied for funding to implement a summer trolley route down Pacific Coast Highway and a Dana Hills High School to Harbor shuttle route to be utilized from Memorial to Labor Days and during special events throughout the year, such as the Festival of Whales.

The city hopes to supply this on a no fare basis, but that detail remains up for OCTA approval.

To get the program off the ground the city would need $120,000 to build 15 bus stops and $260,000 for shuttle operation and maintenance. Startup marketing and advertising costs are estimated at $75,000, but would be greatly reduced after the first year, a city staff report said.

With $1 million in Coastal Transit Program funds remaining from the 2008 failed tri-city trolley that can be spent at a rate of $100,000 a year, no general funds would likely be used in trolley establishment or upkeep. According to the report, the service would potentially cut $15,000 from the city’s budget, currently used to fund special event shuttles.

A decision is expected in late June.

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