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Orange County moving ahead with streetcar plans


A streetcar project in Orange County, Calif., is advancing toward the start of construction in 2017, following its recent acceptance into the project development phase of the New Starts federal grant program, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) officials announced Monday.

Acceptance into the grant program will make the project a candidate for funding in the future, OCTA officials said in a press release.

"For years, we’ve been talking about the concept of a streetcar in Orange County, and now we want people to know that the future of the OC Streetcar is on track," said OCTA Chairman Jeff Lalloway.

The $250 million streetcar project also received environmental clearances from the Federal Transit Administration in early March, as well as approval from the city councils of Santa Ana and Garden Grove, Calif., where the streetcar would operate.

The project is partly funded by voter-approved Measure M, which called for a half-cent sales tax increase in Orange County.

The streetcar would run a roughly four-mile route from the Santa Ana train station, through downtown Santa Ana, to a new multimodal transit hub in Garden Grove, with a total of 12 stations along the way.

The project is expected to advance to the design phase later this year, with construction slated to start in 2017 and operation beginning in 2019.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/13/2015