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A Metrolink train departs from the San Juan Capistrano train depot. File photo
A Metrolink train departs from the San Juan Capistrano train depot. File photo

By The Capistrano Dispatch

The Orange County Transportation Authority is stepping up to the plate to help San Juan Capistrano businesses offset some of the negative effects of construction on the Ortega Highway bridge with a new campaign that aims to promote travel to the city.

A kick-off event will be held on Saturday, June 8, starting at the Santa Ana Transportation Center, 1000 E. Santa Ana Blvd. Transportation officials and passengers will be joined by Mayor John Taylor and Mayor Pro Tem Sam Allevato for a short celebration, which will feature free food, refreshments and music. The party will then climb aboard a Metrolink train at 9:40 a.m. and travel down to San Juan Capistrano, where passengers will be greeted by members of the 1880s Wild West re-enactment group, Spurs and Satin.

Throughout the two-year course of Caltrans’ Interstate 5/Ortega Highway interchange project, visitors who keep their tickets are eligible for special deals and discounts at several local hot spots, including the Mission, Zoomars Petting Zoo and the Camino Real Playhouse.

Some of the deals being offered include:

  • Half-price admission into the Mission and Zoomars
  • 10 percent off meals at The Vintage Steakhouse and Sarducci’s Capistrano Depot
  • Free beverage or desert with any $5 purchase at Mission Grill
  • Free one-hour bike rentals at Buy My Bikes
  • One free concession item at the Camino Real Playhouse

A weekend Metrolink pass costs $10. Visitors who bring a non-perishable food item for donation to Second Harvest Food Bank will earn a chance to win free Metrolink tickets or prizes.

For more information on OCTA’s campaign, visit For a list of San Juan Capistrano businesses taking part in the campaign, click here.

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