With just an app and a push of a button, residents of Laguna Beach will be able to convene a shared ride around town on demand this Monday using the town’s local Laguna Beach service.
The city announced on Wednesday the start of the transit pilot program. Plans for the service were approved by Laguna Beach City Council in July after city staff were ordered to do so in response to declining use of the neighborhood tram system.
Along all three routes, the carts saw less than 10 passengers on board. According to the city’s deputy director of public works, Michael Litschi, various reasons have been put forward as to why the tram service is not working for people. Litschi said transit users want more frequent service, reliability, and service that runs for extended hours.
The first discussions were brought forward in March.
Laguna Beach Local is tentatively available to residents along old streetcar routes in the Top of the World, Bluebird Canyon and Arch Beach Heights neighborhoods and downtown. Depending on demand and budget, city staff said the program could potentially be expanded north and south of Laguna Beach.
To use Laguna Beach Local, residents will need to download the TransLoc app from the Apple store or Google Play and create an account. Alternatively, those who have already installed the Laguna Beach Cart app can click on the “Laguna Beach Local” option under the external links and create an account.
Once this account is created, users will need to click on the “on demand” tab at the bottom of the screen. They will then select the Laguna Beach Local option for the day they intend to travel and indicate their pick-up and drop-off locations, how many people will be driving and whether a wheelchair or bicycle is traveling.
Users will also be able to book rides in advance and without a smartphone by calling (949) 497-0766 or by visiting ondemand.transloc.com on a personal computer.
Officials said the average wait time should be around 15 to 20 minutes, but that could depend on ridership and traffic. The vehicles will be able to carry up to seven people at a time.
“This on-demand pilot program is being introduced in direct response to resident feedback and allows us more flexibility and precision to provide transit service to residents while responding to unpredictable changes in demand,” the mayor said. of Laguna Beach, Pro Tem Sue Kempf, in a statement. “You can use it for all kinds of daily commutes, like going to the grocery store, downtown, or meeting a friend for coffee. We look forward to community feedback.
City staff are expected to return with a report on the results of the pilot program in March.
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