Huntington Beach

Surf City shuttle plan moves forward

THE PIER area of downtown Huntington Beach will be among the destinations of a proposed bus or trolley shuttle planned for the city (Flickr/Ron Kroetz)

THE PIER area of downtown Huntington Beach will be among the destinations of a proposed bus or trolley shuttle planned for the city (Flickr/Ron Kroetz)

UPDATE: An agreement with the Orange County Transit Authority to advance plans for a “traffic circulator” – likely in the form of a bus or trolley – serving Surf City was approved by the Huntington Beach City Council Monday night on a 7-0 vote.

Little Saigon in Westminster already has one. Surf City may have one soon.

On Monday’s agenda for the Huntington Beach City Council is an item asking for appropriations to advance plans for a bus or trolley shuttle serving key locations in the city.

HB color logo letters3About $184,812 would be the city’s grant match toward what’s officially called the Project V Community-Based Transit Circulator Project of the Orange County Transit Authority. The money would come from the city’s Air Quality Management District fund balance ($25,000) and grant and contribution funds ($159,812) for capital improvements.

If funded and instituted, the “circulator” would operate during seasonal peak demand days on a 15.4-mile circuit including the Bella Terra shopping area (Edinger Avenue and Beach Boulevard), the Oak View neighborhood (Warner Avenue and Nichols Street), Central Park (Goldenwest Street and Talbert Avenue) and the coastal areas of downtown including Pacific City and hotels at the beach.

THE LITTLE SAIGON shuttle design (OCTA image).

THE LITTLE SAIGON shuttle design (OCTA image).

A similar bus route began in late fall 2016 in the Little Saigon area of Westminster, traveling on a quadrangle including Magnolia Street, Bolsa Avenue, Brookhurst Street and Bishop Place. It serves 22 locations in that popular commercial area. The program operates buses which seat about 20 riders, and a new bus comes along every 20 minutes or so between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily.

In June of 2016, the OCTA Board of Directors approved about $26.7 million toward such circulators. Seventeen cities – including Huntington Beach and Westminster – were awarded money for shuttle services. The biggest share – $3.7 million – went to Westminster, while Huntington Beach is getting $917,000.

Garden Grove will get $49,280 toward studying ridership demand for a community-based shuttle. Funding for the circulators comes from Measure M sales tax revenue approved by Orange County voters.

The city council meets at 6 p.m. in its chambers at 2000 Main St. (at Yorktown). A study session at 4 p.m. will precede the regular session

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