The Santa Ana Sentinel

PE ROW: Latest Study Disallows LA Metro Light Rail Along Santa Ana Blvd

Posted in Progress Report, Transit by Omar Ávalos Gallegos on May 16, 2012

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.

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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.

Fore more visit the Pacific Electric Corridor page and Santa Ana Transit Vision.

2 Responses

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  1. orulz said, on May 25, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Does it really make sense to have to separate routes for the street car and the light rail?? The streetcar and the PE Santa Ana Branch light rail should be merged into one project.

    • Omar Ávalos Gallegos said, on May 25, 2012 at 11:21 am

      I agree that the PE ROW should be served by light rail, like the Blue Line to Long Beach, that can operate at a slower speed once on Santa Ana streets. I think what will end up happening is that the Santa Ana end of the PE ROW and Santa Ana Blvd will be served first by street car and years later by light rail, if the rest of the county agrees to lay track along the PE ROW.

      I think LA Metro and or OCTA will wait on laying track along Harbor and 1st streets or 17th and Main. Why add more track when you can run along Santa Ana Blvd?


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