One and a half miles, or a 27-minute walk, that turns into a one hour and 15-minute commute. Is this all we should expect from public transportation?
I took the trolley from Boat Canyon at 4:08 p.m. At Whole Foods, the driver, passengers and I walk to the bus depot to catch the Canyon route, (a weird/counter-intuitive solution) which left right before our noses. Another trolley driver just ended his shift too and wanted to hit the freeway ASAP. Driving or not, drivers are on the clock till 5:30 p.m. During the whole time, the trolley app opened but did not show any arrival times. We tried other phones, too. This page is the only page that continuously rarely opens. After waiting for 30 minutes, one trolley driver called the depot, which confirms that our trolley just left. Tired of waiting, two older passengers took the OCTA bus. Since there was almost no traffic into town, we were confident our ride would arrive within 5 to 10 minutes. Now we are more than 10 people waiting. Finally, after 25 minutes, the Canyon Trolley arrives, but we were informed we had to pick up a wheelchair from Main Beach first. By this time, the crowd revolted and got the driver to make another trolley do the pickup. Arrival was 5:20 p.m. at Art-A-Fair.
Drivers told me that the critical time which creates most delays is between 4 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. because of the shift change. It is totally disrespectful to passengers who are robbed of making their decision to take an Uber or walk without app or schedule, which many drivers confirmed. I try to take the trolley every day and it has been a nightmare since the beginning, and the app only works 10 percent of the time. (This app has a 2 of 5-star rating.)
For some reason our city thinks, for so few people, they are better off running the trolley service over a dispatch that can change directions on the fly. A trolley that is not run by a reliable schedule or a functioning app is unreliable and inconvenient, and thus more people avoid this service. I now do 75 percent of my rides with Uber or Lyft. If it was not for the friendliness and courteousness of the trolley drivers, there would be even fewer riders.
Michaell Magrutsche, Laguna Beach
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