After a meeting with Shohreh Dupuis and Paula Faust of Public Works, I was confident we pinpointed the biggest hurdle that was in the way to simplify the Coast Highway and canyon routes. The canyon route currently does not include making a U-turn at South Coast Highway and Broadway. Shohreh had a brilliant idea, to loop the trolley around on Cliff drive eastbound back to the canyon. This would be a better solution than having so many different confusing routes. For neighborhood routes, the city is considering a model like San Clemente, where you can use Lyft or Uber for $2 from any bus stop to another—fewer big empty trolleys on our quaint tiny roads.
Lagunans need to change their behavior to move at least within the boundaries of the Coast Highway and canyon to public transportation if we want to retain the quality of living here. For this to happen, we need to have the trolley service every day, not just weekends in the off season. It won’t happen if the city requires citizens to change their transportation mode for weekends only. People have to learn that they can trust their transportation. Currently they can’t. The app is not reliable and does not open like Uber/Lyft.
On Sept. 1, a friend of mine tried to use the trolley. She waited a while, and since no trolley came, she called at 6:20 p.m. and the dispatch told her to wait seven minutes at her stop. At 6:48 p.m. she called again, and the dispatch told her there was so much traffic on the Highway they couldn’t do anything. She responded that she was standing on the Highway and there was very low traffic. Then the dispatch answered that she should not be impatient since it is a free service. My friend told her that it is not free because Laguna pays for it. That’s when the dispatch just hung up on her. I see this Laguna Beach attitude over and over. An attitude of entitlement mixed with a misuse of political correctness to manipulate and coerce instead of being just, getting things done, and striving for being an exemplary city. Granted, everyone here loves Laguna, but with righteousness instead of a tight community and civic pride.
Michaell Magrutsche, Laguna Beach