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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Council Seeks New Shuttle Program

• ‘Viable’ Transportation Plan Sought for Community
BY BILL KOENEKER


Malibu City Council members made it clear, at a special meeting last week, they wanted the city to act quickly to replace the so-called ghost shuttle, officially known as the Point Dume nature shuttle, to start taking on riders soon.
Councilmember Pamela Conley Ulich had successfully urged her colleagues at a previous meeting, to not spend any more money on the Point Dume nature shuttle.
“We should not renew the [$54,600] contract,” said Conley Ulich, who asked this week what the current status of the shuttle is.
“It is not operating,” said Assistant City Manager Reva Feldman. “The contract was not renewed.”
City Manager Jim Thorsen said the funding from the cancelled contract are monies from a designated fund and would be put back. “They do not go into the general fund,” he added.
Conley Ulich wanted to know if they would expire before the city could use them. The council member suggested before that happens the city should get something moving riders. “Even if it is six stops along the schools. It is a good start,” she said. “We could tweak it to get this thing up and running.”
“I agree,” said Mayor John Sibert. “Do something sooner, than later.”
Almost 11 years ago, the city entered into a 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, nearly hall-million, 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 some council members, over the years, bitterly complaining about the costly 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.

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