Orange County Streetcar Project Ignoring Equity Issues, Say Activists

Critics say transportation officials have failed to address the potential equity and displacement effects of the Southern California streetcar project.

1 minute read

June 19, 2019, 11:00 AM PDT

By Camille Fink

Santa Ana California

Wayne Hsieh / Flickr

Alejandra Molina writes about equity concerns related to the Orange County Streetcar project in Southern California. It is a $408-million, 4.1-mile project scheduled to start service in 2022 that will link the cities of Santa Ana and Garden Grove. Supporters say the streetcar will improve mobility in the area and boost economic development.

But transportation activists say equity issues, particularly around displacement, have not been addressed and the lead agency, the Orange County Transportation Authority, has focused its outreach largely on design of the streetcar.

OCTA officials argue that land use decisions are made by the county and individual cities and the agency’s role is to lead construction efforts. "Organizers with Santa Ana Active Streets, however, say Orange County transportation officials have been tone-deaf when it comes to issues over equity," writes Molina. And she notes that other cities, such as Los Angeles and Seattle, have put programs in place to address transportation equity.

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