Yes and no, but being part of a hybrid solution would yield the best results for Laguna. When we consider the details according to passenger needs, the most impacted routes that could reduce traffic and increase parking spots, are to shrink the trolleys to two lines. Line 1 on Coast Highway running north to south and back, and Line 2 for the Canyon going east to west and back, both abiding to a strict 15-minute interval unless later in the evening (30 minutes). In order to gain trust in the trolley and reteach Lagunans a new mode of transportation pattern, it is crucial to run a seven days a week service. This solution can be easily adjusted for weekends and during the summer months by adding extra trolleys.
The rest, the neighborhood trolleys, are usually on time (they have to because of school) but they are too cumbersome for Laguna’s tiny roads and serve too few riders to justify such big trucks. The neighborhoods would be best and most conveniently served with an Uber/Lyft/Sallys Fund solution. Why not use the San Juan Capistrano model, where a $2 ride would pick you up from and to any bus station within Laguna Beach?
We need an app that always works and is reliable and convenient. Revamp the current app to turn it into a standalone transportation app that still can also be linked from the Visit Laguna app. I imagine like Uber/Lift, where you just type in a “where are you going” field over a screen that shows cars/trolleys on a map in your area. On the next screen, confirm your current location. Then, similar to Google Maps, the app should show all available modes of transportation, indicating their arrival time and related cost, to make it easy to select your favorite transportation choice. You have to admit, that sounds very doable and exciting. As you can see, we could actually create a transportation solution that works with what we already have, and adding more covered benches and trash cans at the stops for everyone’s convenience would make each trip even more enjoyable.
Michaell Magrutsche, Laguna Beach
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