Sunday, February 18 , 2018, 11:38 pm | Fair 52º


Local News

Santa Barbara Council Votes to Keep Waterfront Shuttles Rolling

City officials had considered changing the route because it is running $40,000 in the red

The City of Santa Barbara had considered service changes to the waterfront shuttle route because the program is $40,000 in the red, but the City Council voted Tuesday to have the Waterfront Department pick up the funding shortfall.

The Metropolitan Transit District operates the shuttle from the Santa Barbara Zoo to the Harbor, which isn’t as popular as the downtown shuttle route on State Street to Stearns Wharf.

Council members considered shortening the shuttle’s hours or route, but decided to have the Waterfront Department pick up the extra funds and perhaps pass it on to visiting cruise ships.

Cruise ships pay $5 per person on board in landing fees — which ends up being $13,000 to $18,000 per ship visit — and the city organizes booster shuttles to and from Sea Landing to handle the extra people, Waterfront Director Scott Riedman said.

“It’s absolutely important that we maintain that relationship with MTD to have additional shuttles for when cruise ships come in,” he said, asking the council not to eliminate the wharf-to-harbor section of the route.

In a separate matter earlier Tuesday, the Finance Committee decided to use Self Insurance Fund money to fund the $636,546.22 court settlement for property owners who sued after the city decided to disown a portion of the Ealand Place cul-de-sac.

This road has only one home left on it, with all other owners driven away by the 2008 Tea Fire, landslides or both, and the city doesn’t want ongoing maintenance costs for what is essentially a private driveway now.

Councilman Dale Francisco said the city will figure out how to pay the Self Insurance Fund back at a later point.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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