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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Point Dume ‘Shuttle to Nowhere’ May Be Refunded by the City

• Van Costs Nearly Half-Million Dollars

BY BILL KOENEKER


It has been called the ghost shuttle, the van to nowhere, or simply a “waste of money.”
It is more formally known as the Point Dume nature shuttle that will cost the City of Malibu $54,600 this year for “shuttle services to and from the Point Dume natural preserve.” called the Point Dume headlands by many locals.
Almost 11 years ago, the city entered into an settlement agreement with the California Coastal Commission and the state Department of Parks and Recreation, which ended litigation over access to the Point Dume headlands.
The agreement required the city to construct a limited number of parking spaces adjacent to the headlands and to provide shuttle service to transport passengers from Westward Beach up to the top of the headlands for a period of 10 years.
On March 10, 2010, the city fulfilled its 10-year, half-million-dollar obligation to the Coastal Commission and State Parks to provide the shuttle service, according to municipal officials.
During the operation, the ridership has been very low and sometimes non-existent with folks, including many various council members over the years, bitterly complaining about the obligation.
The shuttle has been funded by the city’s Prop A funds and that caused the ire of critics who said the monies could be used for a more useful public program.
Meanwhile, the city’s Public Works Commission had been directed to explore other transportation services for the city as a whole. The matter, according to a memo to council members, has been discussed at two commission meetings.
The staff explained that at a future date they will return to the council with an updated report from the commission with an alternative to replace the existing Point Dume shuttle.
In the interim, the staff is suggesting the ghost shuttle be kept alive until the city takes action.

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