Anaheim has informally abandoned the idea of building a $700-million elevated monorail to transport tourists from Disneyland to train stations and other parts of the city, Mayor Tom Tait confirmed Monday.
Although no official action has been taken by the City Council, Tait said building the elevated system, known as the Anaheim Rapid Connection elevated guideway, was “way too expensive.”
“We stopped looking at that a while back,” said Tait. “That seems to be the consensus.”
City Councilwoman Lorri Galloway, who sits on the board of the Orange County Transportation Authority, agreed. She said informal talks with Federal Transportation Authority officials indicated the elevated plan probably was too expensive to receive federal funding.
As a result of such feedback, Anaheim this spring added a streetcar option to possible transit systems it will seek money to develop, although the elevated proposal still is listed in official documents. The overall system is supposed to connect the Anaheim Convention Center, Disneyland, the Platinum Triangle and the city’s train station.
During the OCTA meeting Anaheim Public Works Director Natalie Meeks also told the board the city had learned “maybe our elevated project was too expensive for the Federal Transportation Authority to fund.”
At the OCTA meeting, Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido delivered an update of his city’s plans to create a transit system that ultimately links with Garden Grove. That plan also includes streetcars or buses. The first phase of the streetcar program would cost $180 million and the completed project, at its Garden Grove terminus, would be $250 million.
Santa Ana also hasn’t made a decision yet on which system to use, but he indicated Santa Ana and Anaheim are likely to try to use the same technology to increase their chances of receiving federal financial support.
The overall vision is a system that would make it possible for workers in the neighborhoods of Santa Ana, Anaheim and Garden Grove to travel among the cities without using cars and also carry tourists from Disneyland to rail stations.
The proposals are part of a six-year-old OCTA program called Go Local, which is intended to encourage cities to develop plans for traveling within their communities by rail or bus.
Supervisor Shawn Nelson urged the three cities to work together on a single project, saying it would increase the chances of federal financing and eliminate competition among the communities.
“[There is] a much greater chance for success and funding if you combine these projects,” Nelson said.
Both Santa Ana and Anaheim will be refining their plans in the next few months.