January 2nd 2023: The OC Streetcar is a new tram system that when it opens in 2024 will run from the Santa Ana train station and downtown Santa Ana 4.15 miles to Harbor Boulevard in Garden Grove. The plan by the Orange County Transportation Agency (OCTA) is eventually expand the system to more areas of Orange County.
Traffic in Orange County is getting worse and we do need more transportation options the question is how much of a difference the OC Streetcar will make. The route through densely populated and major business district that is downtown Santa Ana is a good choice although at the moment business owners downtown are not happy about the construction of the streetcar.
The question to be answered is will people use the OC Streetcar to get to work or visit downtown Santa Ana businesses instead of taking an OC Bus along first street. Also will OC Bus cut regular bus service in the area so people have to take the streetcar instead.
The cost of the OC Streetcar is planned to be $508.54 million with $280.10 coming from the Federal Government and $25.58 million coming from the State with $203.86 coming from local sources. If these numbers stay true which often there are overruns, but even if the amount stays the same is a huge investment in a approximately 4 mile tram service.