Claremont Insider: Trolley Mail

Friday, December 28, 2007

Trolley Mail

We received a number of letters about the proposed Downtown Claremont trolley system. Recall that city staff and a citizen committee that included former Claremont Mayor Judy Wright studied the problem of linking the various commercial areas in town.

As we noted earlier this month, the trolley has been scaled back considerably from the original conception. The $887,000 three-year trial will consist of a circuit running every 15 minutes though the Claremont Village and Village Expansion [NOTE: The eventual cost of the trolley was about $1.29 million, not the $887,000 originally proposed. -ed.]. The Claremont Colleges and the Old School House at Foothill and Indian Hill Blvd. will not be included.

Using the figures tossed about by the city, the trips penciled out to over $10 per user by our estimate (15 riders per hour, 12-1/2 hours per day, three days per week, for three years equals 87,750 riders). Not much value for what amounts to a few minutes walk.

One reader wrote in to say:

I've never heard a more ridiculous idea in my life. You can walk from Three Forks to Walter's in seven minutes; who needs a trolley?

I'm a bit skeptical of the whole anti-obesity furor, but I'd bet the Claremont 400 swallows it hook, line, and sinker. And to them I say, "Is it any wonder that America is getting fat when municipalities spend nearly a million bucks to bus people six blocks?"

Another said this about City Hall in general:

I wonder if the City Council and Staff can find some money for purchasing "Seeing Eye dogs" for themselves. The blind leading the blind method just does not seem to work for them when it comes to managing the City.

The trolley's sounding like just another toy for staff to play with at your expense.

Pictured at right:
Housing and Redevelopment Manager Brian Desatnik studies a mock-up of the downtown Claremont trolley service as part of city staff's detailed proposal analysis. The trolley is a gift to Claremont from former Mayor Judy Wright as part of her legacy building project.