San Juan Capistrano’s City Council on Sept. 4 approved a cooperative agreement with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) that allows the city to continue its summer weekend trolley service through 2023.

The Council voted 4-1, with Councilwoman Pam Patterson dissenting, to approve the cooperative agreement for grant funding and authorize City Manager Ben Siegel to amend a professional services agreement with trolley operator Professional Parking Corp.

The total cost of the program over five years is expected to be $1,065,158 and 90 percent of that, or $958,642, will be covered through OCTA’s Measure M2 Project V grant.

The city is required to provide the remaining 10 percent, or $105,516, which will be funded that through available Air Quality Management District subvention funds, according to a city staff report.

Councilwoman Pam Patterson said that while she liked the trolley program, she was concerned that money was being diverted from other purposes, such as paving the city’s roads.

Siegel and other city officials noted the funding was coming exclusively from specified grants and that no money was being diverted from other purposes.

The Summer Weekend Trolley Service will operate for thirteen consecutive weekends beginning in early June and run through Labor Day. It will include two trolleys running on 20-minute frequencies on a continuous loop from downtown San Juan Capistrano to a connecting stop in Dana Point.

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