Public Review Set To Begin For San Diego Trolley Extension Project
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Aired 5/16/13 on KPBS News.
A project to extend the San Diego Trolley to the University City community is taking another step forward. SANDAG is scheduled on Friday to kick off the public review and comment period and a draft environmental report.
A project to extend the San Diego Trolley to the University City community is taking another step forward.
The $1.7 billion, 11-mile project will extend trolley service from Old Town, up along Interstate 5 to the UTC area and UCSD.
Eight new stations are proposed along the route, including Tecolote Road, Clairemont Drive, Balboa Avenue, Nobel Drive, Pepper Canyon (UCSD west campus), Voigt Drive (UCSD east campus), Executive Drive, and the terminus station at Westfield UTC Transit Center. A potential ninth station at the VA Medical Center also is being studied.
The new route will connect trolley lines in Mission Valley, East County, and South County, and will offer a ride from the international border all the way to University City.
SANDAG Executive Director Gary Gallegos said the project is needed because the population along the corridor is predicted to increase 19 percent by 2030, and it will bring people to where the jobs are.
"This particular extension is important in that it connects two of the biggest job centers of San Diego –- both downtown San Diego and the UTC area -- and connects them with the rest of the light rail system, said Gallegos. “Therefore, provides San Diegans some access to these job centers, to the medical centers that exist at UTC, to the universities."
The proposed project is being funded in partnership by SANDAG (utilizing the TransNet half-cent sales tax) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) New Starts Program. Construction is expected to begin in 2015, with service starting in 2018.
SANDAG is hosting five public workshops in June at locations throughout the Mid-Coast Corridor.