OC Streetcar

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    Background

    OC Street car mapTo complement Orange County’s Metrolink service, passengers need a way to get to their final destination after getting off a train. Through Transit Extensions to Metrolink, a Measure M program (now called OC Go) intended to broaden the reach of Orange County’s backbone rail system to key employment, population, and activity centers, the cities of Santa Ana and Garden Grove developed a fixed guideway project that would address this need.

    After evaluating many alternatives and extensive outreach, a streetcar was chosen as the preferred alternative. Expected to begin operations in 2021, the OC Streetcar will link the bustling Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center (SARTC), which provides regional rail, OCTA bus, and intercity and international bus services, to a new multimodal hub at Harbor Boulevard/Westminster Avenue in Garden Grove. Along the way, OC Streetcar will connect directly with 18 OCTA bus routes. OC Streetcar will serve the historic downtown Santa Ana and Civic Center which includes government offices, federal, state and local courthouses, unique restaurants and shops, an artists’ village, several schools and a variety of community enrichment organizations.

    OC Streetcar will increase transportation options and provide greater access along its 4.15-mile route (in each direction) along Santa Ana Boulevard, 4th Street, and the Pacific Electric right-of-way to Harbor Boulevard in Garden Grove.

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    • A streetcar is a short train-like vehicle with metal wheels powered by electricity that operates alongside cars via rails embedded in the street, providing circulation within local neighborhoods. Light rail system vehicles are longer, travel faster and typically operate within a lane separate from streets, providing transportation between cities and/or suburban areas.
    • Streetcars provide local circulation in urban areas and share their right-of-way with automobiles, traveling with the flow of traffic.
    • Modern streetcars move with the flow of traffic and allow passenger pick up and drop off at designated stops. Public outreach and pedestrian safety education programs will be offered to familiarize local residents and business owners with the new system.
    • Streetcar passenger vehicles can typically accommodate up to 150 passengers.
    • Streetcar passenger vehicles can typically travel up to approximately 35 miles per hour. While the speed of the OC Streetcar will vary depending upon the speed of traffic, the average speed will be approximately 11 mph.
    • Streetcars are typically powered by an overhead power supply.
    • The route will be 4.15 miles in each direction.
    • There will be 10 stations.
    • The streetcar will run every 10 to 15 minutes during operating hours.
    • Bicycles will be allowed on the streetcar, either on bicycle racks or in designated areas inside the vehicles. Public outreach and bicycle safety education programs will be offered to familiarize bicyclists with the new system.
    • Streetcar fares will be similar to OCTA bus fares.
    • Yes, the OC Streetcar will be ADA compliant.
    • As part of OCGO, formally Measure M, all 34 cities in Orange County were given the opportunity to develop transit extensions to the Metrolink corridor. The cities of Santa Ana and Garden Grove competed for and were awarded funds, through Measure M - Transit Extensions to Metrolink, for further development of a fixed guideway project that would broaden the reach of Metrolink to key destinations within their communities.

      The route was chosen by the Cities of Santa Ana and Garden Grove as a result of a detailed alternatives analysis (AA) study that evaluated multiple routes and technologies. The locally preferred alternative (LPA), Streetcar Alternative 1, was selected by the Santa Ana City Council on August 5, 2014 and adopted on January 20, 2015. The City of Garden Grove also adopted a resolution approving the LPA on February 10, 2015.

    • The AA includes (1) Preliminary Definition of Alternatives, (2) Initial Screening (Route Options), (3) Initial Screening (Technology Options), (4) Detailed Evaluation and Environmental Impact Analysis, and (5) Locally Preferred Alternative.
    • Significant public outreach was conducted at each phase of the study.
    • The AA was completed in April 2014.
    • The estimated Capital cost is $298 million (year of expenditure).
    • No, access to businesses will be maintained during business operating hours and signage would be posted alerting nearby businesses of temporary closures and/or detours.
    • Parking will be impacted; however, residential and business properties will maintain an on-site parking capacity that is consistent with local zoning and occupancy entitlements.
    • During construction lane closures will be required; however, every effort will be made to minimize these concerns. Signs will also be posted to alert nearby residents and businesses of temporary lane reductions, weekend or nighttime closures, and/or detours.

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