Claremont Insider: Trolley Folly?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Trolley Folly?

Coming soon to Claremont: The Claremont Trolley. Or so our Mayor, Peter Yao, would have us believe.

The Daily Bulletin had a brief note about the idea, which had surfaced a while back. The proposal seems a bit more fleshed out - a three-year trial at a cost of $887,000 to start up.

The trolley would connect the Village, the Village Expansion, and the Metrolink parking lot. It would run 11am to 11:30pm. According to the Bulletin, the council may take the matter up in January.

If this is like other such projects - affordable housing, Padua Park, or even the erstwhile roundabout at Indian Hill Blvd. and Bonita Ave. (which had to be constructed, then torn out after complaints) the thing's a done deal. In our town, idea's only get floated in the papers after being vetted by the Claremont 400.

Expect to see a downtown trolley soon. And, it might even be a good idea, though we shouldn't expect a lot of thought or analysis to go into it. The idea's already being approved. The public comment is invariably for show, as in dog-and-pony.

Look for it at an upcoming 2008 council meeting.

[Here is the math: The article says the city officials hope for an average ridership of 15 riders per hour. Running 12 1/2 hours per day, three days a week, that's 562.5 riders per week. For the three-year trial, that amounts to 87,750 riders. At a cost of $887,000, that amounts to more than $10 per trolley trip. Seems like a lot to get from the parking structure to Yale Avenue. Don't worry, though, the Feds and State will pay for it.]