In a bid to help plan a central Orange County light-rail transit system, the City Council voted this week to join a multi-city agency that will oversee the project.
The council appointed Fullerton Mayor Chris Norby, Councilwoman Molly McClanahan and City Manager William C. Winter to serve as two-year representatives to the Central Orange County Fixed Guideway Agency.
Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Orange and Santa Ana are considering approving the joint powers agreement between the county and the cities that gives the agency its authority.
Under the agreement, officials serve only in a planning capacity, said Fullerton Councilman A.B. (Buck) Catlin.
"The reason why we are participating is unmistakable," Catlin said. "The Fullerton Transportation Center is key to any (multi-city) fixed transportation system."
The city's transportation center now serves as a stop on the Amtrak line between San Diego and Los Angeles.
Planning for an urban-core light-rail system was envisioned in Measure M, the county sales tax increase approved by voters in November to fund highway and transit improvements.
The urban-core system is expected to connect south and north Orange County, with stops in various cities along the route.
The agency will oversee the work of consultants to plan for the routing, station locations, technology and financing for the system. Catlin said this is the first move in the planning effort, which is expected to take a year or more.