The city of Ojai is soliciting bids to operate its new trolley, an antique-style streetcar that winds its way through downtown 13 times a day.
City Council members have directed the staff to begin requesting bids to operate the streetcar system, which has for five years been administered by the private Ojai Trolley Co.
The new trolley, which can shuttle more riders than the aging olive-green vehicle, is scheduled to be delivered to Ojai this summer. The new streetcar will be paid for out of Clean Air Act grant funds made available to Ojai last year.
Assistant City Manager Daniel Singer told the City Council last week that a new operating agreement is necessary to update performance standards and comply with new federal regulations.
He also said the new agreement would allow for more competitive rates and routes that could be extended to Meiners Oaks or beyond.
Residents outside city limits told members of the Ventura County Transportation Commission and representatives from Supervisor Susan K. Lacey's office that they would support extending trolley service to Meiners Oaks.
The county would chip in an undetermined amount to fund the route extension, although no decision has yet been made. Singer told the council that he had received a letter from Lacey indicating she wants to pursue the plan.