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Carlsbad Commuters Have New Last-Mile Solution

North County Transit District board chair and Encinitas Councilman Tony Kranz...

Photo by Andi Dukleth

Above: North County Transit District board chair and Encinitas Councilman Tony Kranz, Carlsbad Mayor Pro Tem and NCTD Priya Bhat-Patel and Carlsbad Councilwoman and SANDAG Board member Cori Schumacher cutting a ribbon on the Carlsbad Connector, a shuttle service that serves commuters arriving on the Coaster trains.

Commuters to and from Carlsbad that use the Coaster train now have a quick and easy way to bridge the gap between the Poinsettia station and the rest of the city.

The Coaster commuter train began service between Oceanside and San Diego in 1995. But like any rail or bus mass transit system, there’s been the challenge of what’s called “first mile - last mile," how to get from the station to your home or destination and vice versa.

Listen to this story by John Carroll.

"We want folks to be able to get from the Coaster to their place of work, to leisure spots in our cities without having to use their car," said Carlsbad City Council member Cori Schumacher.

With the cutting of a blue ribbon Monday morning, the five shuttle buses making up the Connector fleet were ready for the Coaster train carrying their first riders.

Reported by John Carroll , Video by Matthew Bowler

Calling a Carlsbad Connector is easy. If you know how to use Uber or Lyft, you already know how to do it. It’s all app-based.

"Just makes it that much easier to get here without having to drive," said Kirk Leopoldo. He commutes to Carlsbad from downtown San Diego every day.

He says he’s happy with the new Connector service.

"Usually I would walk the last mile, about a 25-minute walk or grab an Uber from here to the office... for me, it’s just to not be in the car for an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon," Leopoldo said.

"One of the things that our local businesses really desire is for their folks to be able to move in from different cities where they live and be able to really quickly connect to the workplaces rather than getting stuck in traffic," Schumacher said.

Coaster riders who have monthly or daily passes can ride the Connector for free. Or, it’ll cost you $2.50 for a one-way trip.

The service represents a $650,000 dollar investment split between the City of Carlsbad, the North County Transit District and SANDAG.

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Aired: August 20, 2019 | Transcript

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