City buses will soon make a trial run to the Laguna Beach Community & Susi Q Senior Center.
The City Council voted Tuesday to conduct a one-year pilot program with a bus drop-off at the Third Street facilities. Seniors have lobbied for the service, which was always in the plans for the Susi Q.
"I bring you thanks from Skipper Lynn, who helped to push this," said Chris Quilter, Laguna Beach Seniors Inc. president.
Lynn was featured in a Coastline Pilot story after she voluntarily gave up driving and began crusading for bus service to the Susi Q, where she and many of Laguna's seniors spend most of their days.
"We need a transit stop there," said Susi Q volunteer Ramona Loucks.
Vic Opincar, also a Susi Q volunteer and a former member of the city's Parking, Traffic and Circulation Committee, said a bus pass system should be considered.
"If we can sell parking stickers, we can sell bus passes," Opincar said.
The stop will also benefit younger adults and children who attend classes, meetings and events at the community center, said Councilwoman Elizabeth Pearson.
"We did test runs and all the bus drivers tried it out, and it looks like we could make it happen," said Ken Fischer, deputy director of Public Works.
Current routes will be adjusted to make the stop.
"From the get-go, the pullover at the Susi Q was planned for bus service," Quilter said. "But it is just part of the puzzle."
Programming at the Susi Q is based on the capacity in the garage. The more open spaces, the more programs. The seniors have also acquired a grant to promote "Car-Free Laguna."
"Every time we get someone out of a car and onto a bus, it is a good thing," Mayor Pro Tem Verna Rollinger said. "And every time we provide transportation for someone who otherwise wouldn't get out, it is a really good thing."