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Quality of Life

Obama Budget Has $150 Million For Mid-Coast Trolley Line

A San Diego trolley pulls out of the downtown stop at 12th Street and Imperial Avenue, June 1, 2014.
Michael Schuerman
A San Diego trolley pulls out of the downtown stop at 12th Street and Imperial Avenue, June 1, 2014.

Obama Budget Has $150 Million For Mid-Coast Trolley Line
There is something for San Diego transit in President Barack Obama's new budget, and it's $150 million for the proposed Mid-Coast Trolley Line.

There is something for San Diego transit in President Barack Obama's new budget, and it's $150 million for the proposed Mid-Coast Trolley Line.

The line will be 12 miles long and connect the Old Town Transit Station to UC San Diego and the Westfield UTC mall.

While the line item in Obama's budget may seem like a lot, it is only a fraction of the $1.7 billion needed for the new trolley line.

Federal funds are expected to cover half of the cost, with the rest provided by local revenue generated by the TransNet sales tax.

Gary Gallegos, executive director of the San Diego Association of Governments, said having the trolley money in the proposed federal budget is a very good sign.

"I think being included in the president's budget is a strong signal that the federal government has looked at our project," Gallegos said. "They think it's a good project."

The next step is to negotiate a "full funding agreement" with federal officials. Gallegos said if such an agreement is in place by the end of the year, that would allow construction of the mid-coast line to begin in 2016.

"These big projects are never easy to get going on and this is a very important first step," he said.

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