The OCTA is set to spend about $400 million to build the OC Streetcar, which will take residents from Downtown Santa Ana northwest to Downtown Garden Grove, passing by the soon to be developed Willowick Golf Course, along a course once used by the Pacific Electric Red Cars many years ago.
Here is how the OCTA describes the new streetcar route:
The OC Streetcar will link the bustling Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center (SARTC), which provides regional rail, OCTA bus, and intercity and international bus services, to a new multimodal hub at Harbor Boulevard/Westminster Avenue in Garden Grove. Along the way, OC Streetcar will connect directly with 18 OCTA bus routes. OC Streetcar will serve the historic downtown Santa Ana and Civic Center which includes government offices, federal, state and local courthouses, unique restaurants and shops, an artists’ village, several schools and a variety of community enrichment organizations. OC Streetcar will increase transportation options and provide greater access along its 4.15-mile route (in each direction) along Santa Ana Boulevard, 4th Street, and the Pacific Electric right-of-way to Harbor Boulevard in Garden Grove.
The OCTA projects a daily ridership of between 6,000 and 7,300 passengers. But it is hard to believe that this many people will want to ride a streetcar to Downtown Garden Grove.
Here are the current top attractions in Garden Grove:
- The Crystal Cathedral – now a Catholic Church
- Historic Garden Grove Main Street
- The GEM Theater
- the Stanley Ranch Museum & Historical Village
- the Atlantis Play Center
- the Village Green Park
- the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival
- the Garden Amphitheatre (formally the Festival Amphitheatre)
There are a few campuses in Garden Grove too:
- Coastline Community College
- Francis University
- Concord Career College
- CSUF Garden Grove Center (Extension and International Programs)
- Garden Grove Hospital Medical Center
- Little Saigon
- Several large resort style hotels including the Hyatt Regency, Crowne Plaza Resort, Embassy Suites, Marriott and Sheraton
Top Garden Grove employers include:
- Air Industries Corp., 662 Employees, Manufacturing
- Prime Health Services/Garden Grove LLC, 516 Employees, Medical/Healthcare Services
- Driessen Aircraft Interior Systems, Inc., 370 Employees, Manufacturing
- St. Gobain Performance Plastics, 363 Employees, Manufacturing
- Office Max, Inc., 360 Employees, Distribution
- Hyatt Regency Orange County, 350 Employees, Hospitality/Lodging
- GKN Aerospace Transparency Systems, Inc., 331 Employees, Manufacturing
- Crystal Cathedral, 290 Employees, Religious Institution
- C & D Zodiac, 286 Employees, Design/Manufacturing
- Money Mailer LLC, 270 Employees, Printer/Discount Mailer
And those who play Pokemon Go know that Downtown Garden Grove is a great place to go on Community Days.
But is all that enough to justify the OC Streetcar? We just aren’t sure about that.