The program that provides funding to cities to operate shuttles, trolleys and special event transportation is undergoing some changes. OCTA recently changed the minimum performance standards for its community shuttle program to accommodate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on ridership.
The change now requires existing shuttle services to not exceed a maximum cost per boarding. Previously, the program required the services to meet a minimum ridership requirement.
Because of California’s periodic stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements, only three of the services remain operational. The other 23 services are either suspended or not initiated due to the pandemic. Most services will not be reinstated until social distancing requirements are lifted.
Funding for services such as the Dana Point, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano trolleys comes from Project V, a competitive program under OC Go, also known as Measure M, the county’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements. The program allows cities to develop and implement transit services that complement regional bus and rail services and better suit local needs in areas not adequately served by regional transit.
In addition, the services allow riders to leave their cars at home when visiting popular destinations, reducing carbon emissions and congestion.