PE ROW: Latest Study Disallows LA Metro Light Rail Along Santa Ana Blvd
The idea of taking a one-seat ride from downtown Santa Ana to downtown Los Angeles and back, along Santa Ana Blvd, is meeting resistance from Santa Ana staff, those involved with Santa Ana Transit Vision.
The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) sent representatives to the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center (SARTC) on Tuesday, May 15 to present the latest developments in their study of reusing the Pacific Electric Right of Way (PE ROW) for mass transit, and to gather feedback from residents.
The City of Santa Ana, in conjunction with the City of Garden Grove, remains set on the idea of installing a slower-running street car with a limited route ranging from the SARTC, along Santa Ana Blvd, to Harbor Blvd. If a streetcar is approved, and LA Metro is not allowed to run light rail into the city, Santa Ana riders traveling to LA will be forced to transfer to a potential LA Metro line at Harbor Blvd at the PE ROW in Garden Grove.
LA riders traveling into Santa Ana will have to transfer to the local streetcar system at Harbor Blvd. A SCAG spokesperson said that Orange County will experience job growth in the future, whereas LA will lose jobs. This is one main reason why LA Metro is pressing for use of the PE ROW for mass transit all the way into Orange County. One of the highest concentrations of job centers in the county, with the highest amount of external commuters, is Santa Ana because of the many County of Orange jobs found here.
Santa Ana staff asked LA Metro to study other alternatives besides Santa Ana Blvd and two solutions were proposed. One was a rail line running east on 17th street at Harbor Blvd, turning right on Main street to the SATRC, and the other was a line running south on Harbor Blvd, then east on 1st street to the SARTC terminus.
The 17th street option would serve Santa Ana College and the 1st street option would serve points along First street like the downtown at either Broadway or Main street.
SCAG is concluding its final round of community meetings this week and will then report its findings and recommendations to the LA and OC transit authorities.