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Roundtable: San Diego Airport’s Crowded Terminal 1 Due For $3B Makeover

Passengers arrive at Terminal 1 at the San Diego International Airport, Dec. ...

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Above: Passengers arrive at Terminal 1 at the San Diego International Airport, Dec. 27, 2018.

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Terminal 1, the home to Southwest, Alaska and a few other carriers, is closer to a major makeover.

Aired: January 17, 2020 | Transcript

Roundtable Guests

Lori Weisberg, San Diego Union-Tribune

Andrew Bowen, KPBS News

Joshua Emerson Smith, San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego Airport's Terminal 1 getting ready for makeover

First opened in 1967, San Diego International Airport’s Terminal 1 is home to busy carriers Southwest and Alaska Airlines. The long-planned makeover moved a step closer to fruition last week with the announcement that Terminal 1 will be replaced with a facility three times its current size, estimated to cost $3 billion. Terminal 1 will have 30 gates —11 more than the current 19. The Airport Authority listened to criticism, rewrote the environmental document and made a number of changes to its original plan, including adding and funding a transit station to be located near Terminals 1 and 2.

State Housing Bill SB 50 revised and revived

California lawmakers Monday revived a hotly contested housing bill blocked last session. Senate Bill 50, aiming at the state's dual crises of housing scarcity and climate change, requires cities and counties to allow denser and taller apartment buildings in areas close to public transit stops and major job centers. The bill's author, California Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), offered new amendments intended to appease critics in local government. California YIMBY, a pro-growth advocacy group sponsoring SB 50, said the bill would help the state achieve its climate goals by reducing commute distances and allowing more people to live within walking distance of rail and bus stops. Livable California said the bill would harm the character of low-density communities and push low-income residents from their neighborhoods.

Related: State Lawmakers To Again Consider Controversial Housing Bill

MTS issues more fare evasion tickets than other cities

San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System has more than tripled the number of citations it writes for riding the trolley without paying — from about 16,460 in 2014 up to 61,560 in 2018. This is a far larger figure than most cities, including some like Denver, with far more transit riders. Officials are concerned that MTS’s crackdown could keep the indigent from rising out of poverty. Revenue from fares accounts for more than a third of the agency’s budget, while unpaid trolley trips account for three percent. MTS officials acknowledge that increased enforcement hasn't brought a dramatic reduction in the rate of fare evasion. Failure to pay the $2.50 can cost $193 once court fees are factored in. Those who don’t show up for a court hearing can get another $315 fine. Subsequent tickets can trigger steeper fines, and in some cases, even arrest warrants.

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Roundtable is a lively discussion of the week's top stories. Local journalists join host Mark Sauer to provide insight into how these stories affect residents of the San Diego region.

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