A record number of people took advantage of local shuttle and trolley services this summer as cities worked with OCTA on innovative ways to relieve congestion at popular spots around the county.
As OCTA continues its effort to reinvent transit through the OC Bus 360° program, these positive results demonstrate that there is a demand for service that matches the needs of the public.
OCTA provides funding for such transportation services, known as micro-transit.
“There’s nothing worse than being stuck in traffic on a summer day and with services like these we’ve found a unique way to provide transit options that fit best with the varying needs of each community,” said OCTA Chair Michael Hennessey.
For the past two years, OCTA has led the OC Bus 360° effort to redistribute existing bus resources to areas of higher demand and launch innovative new services to more efficiently provide public transportation to existing riders and attract new riders.
This year, summer services ran in Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, Dana Point, Newport Beach on the Balboa Peninsula, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano. In addition, OCTA again operated the OC Fair Express from throughout the county.
Most of the transit services are funded through Measure M, which allows cities to apply for competitive grants to develop local bus services to complement regional bus and rail services. In June 2016, $26.7 million was approved by OCTA to improve city-specific transit needs.
Summer transit programs and ridership:
- OC Fair Express, up 33 percent from last year’s Saturday/Sunday service, delivered a total of 87,500 riders to the Orange County Fair
- Back for the second year, the Laguna Beach Summer Breeze increased ridership by 80 percent with a total of 9,700 riders
- The Laguna Beach Trolley attracted 162,000 people from January through June
- The Huntington Beach Shuttle served 3,000 riders during several special events
- The Dana Point Trolley and Harbor Shuttle had a combined total of 87,244 boardings
- The Newport Beach, Balboa Peninsula Trolley attracted 23,560 riders
- The San Juan Capistrano Summer Trolley service recorded a total of 11,153 riders.
- The San Clemente Summer Trolley recorded nearly 84,000 riders