The Orange County Transportation Authority held a ground-breaking ceremony for the Santa Ana Streetcar project (US) on 30 November. The suburban city and county seat (population 330 000) south of Los Angeles is spending USD408m on a 6.7km (4.2-mile) line linking Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center (a stop on Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner service between Los Angeles and San Diego) and Harbor Boulevard in Garden Grove, with a USD220.5m construction contract awarded to Walsh Construction. Funding is coming from federal and state sources, plus a 0.5% local sales tax.
Siemens was awarded a USD51.5m framework contract for up to 18 S70 low-floor trams in August; the 26.8m vehicles will feature space for 180 passengers, 70 seated. There is
a firm order for eight cars, which should carry 7300 passengers/day, with the remainder being options.
Most of the route follows the original alignment of the Pacific Electric interurban, abandoned in 1950. Opening is planned for late 2021.