Orange County’s new transportation center, ARTIC, located on the 5 freeway near the Honda Center, has drawn fewer than 800 boardings a month since it opened December 8–far fewer than the roughly 3,000 Anaheim officials projected when they hawked the center to the city’s citizens, according to the Orange County Register.
Voice of OC reports, “When Anaheim officials were selling the public on ARTIC, which stands for Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center, they said nearly 3,000 train boardings would take place starting with opening day in 2014. That’s not what happened. ARTIC opened Dec. 8, and daily train boardings in Anaheim for that month averaged less than 800, according to data from the Orange County Transportation Authority.”
Transportation Authority Board of Directors Chairman Jeffrey Lalloway, unsurprised, told Voice of OC, “I’m not surprised because the entire project was oversold. It will under-deliver.” He was not a member of the board when the project was approved.
Anaheim officials reportedly remain optimistic, although Metrolink ridership has fallen 10.8% at the station, while Amtrak has plummeted 32.2% in the last two years, according to the Voice of OC.
Another factor affecting ARTIC was apparently its dependence on the state’s high-speed rail project, which is still a long way from reaching Anaheim. Much of ARTIC’s cost was paid for by Orange County taxpayers through Measure M2.
The Irvine train station drew 1,900 boardings per day in fiscal year 2013-14, and costs $485,000 annually; ARTIC ‘s cost estimate runs at approximately $4.7 million, Voice of OC reports.