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Will Trains or Lanes Connect Santa Ana to LA County?

Orange County residents who love public transit--yes, some of these people do exist--talk fondly of Southern California's train-taking heritage. There was a time when the Pacific Electric "Red Car" rail system connected OC to LA to the Inland Empire and beyond; getting around without a horseless buggy back then was relatively cheap and easy.

The Red Cars were ripped out long ago. Now, though, there's talk of what to do with the land around the routes they once took.

The proposed route.
The proposed route.

The Southern California Association of Governments ("SCAG") is looking at potential uses for the right-of-ways that the Pacific Electric cars once used. Right now, the focus is on a route that connects Santa Ana to the City of Paramount in Los Angeles County.

As you can see on the map to the left, this means that residents of, uh, scenic towns such as Stanton will have another way to get to other scenic towns like Cerritos.

Ideas on the table: Rapid-transit buses, light rail, commuter rail, street cars--and whatever else the public can come up with at a series of outreach meetings being held starting tonight.

Yes, tonight. The first public workshop for this project starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Garden Grove Community Meeting Center. There'll be five other chances to make your voice heard in the upcoming weeks as well. Details here, and get active about it with the Transit Advocates of Orange County here.


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