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City Panel Seeks Better Connections to Long Beach Blue Line


HUNTINGTON BEACH — Trying to get to Long Beach's Blue Line is such a problem for commuters here that the city's Environmental Board is seeing red.

The board told the City Council on Monday night that it takes at least two bus transfers for a Huntington Beach resident to get to the Blue Line light rail system in Long Beach. The process also takes more than two hours and defeats the purpose of trying to get more people out of their cars and into mass transportation.

"It's ridiculous," said board member Steven Hochfelsen, an attorney. Therefore, he said, the board is launching a study to find better connections between Huntington Beach and the Blue Line.

"I'm very pleased that you are doing something like this," Councilman Earle Robitaille said. "This is something the city very badly needs, and I urge you to proceed with it."

Hochfelsen said the study also will explore whether private carriers might fill the need better than the Orange County Transportation Authority.

"We may find that the solution is as simple as hiring two chartered buses," Hochfelsen said.

The Environmental Board noted that Huntington Beach, with a population of about 185,000, is the third largest city in Orange County and has hundreds of commuters traveling into Los Angeles County every day. The board members said better access to the light rail line, which links Long Beach to downtown Los Angeles, would have great environmental benefit.

The 15 members of the Environmental Board are residents appointed by the City Council for four-year terms. The board's responsibilities include "investigating all actual and potential threats to the city's environment."

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