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MTS Expanding Bus Routes To Near Pre-Pandemic Levels

An MTS trolley approaching the Grantville station is seen above a vacant lot,...

Photo by Andrew Bowen

Above: An MTS trolley approaching the Grantville station is seen above a vacant lot, which the transit agency has approved for housing development, June 19, 2019.

Starting Sunday, the Metropolitan Transit System will increase frequency and span of service on 40 of its 95 bus routes to accommodate growing demand for transit and help with physical distancing when possible.

This increase puts service near pre-COVID-19 levels. The agency reduced its service by 25% in April due to the pandemic.

"We want people to know that MTS is a safe and reliable way to travel," said MTS CEO Sharon Cooney. "MTS has ramped up its efforts to disinfect vehicles and stations with the strongest CDC-recommended solutions and we've implemented many other best practices utilized by transit agencies across the U.S. Our increase in service is in response to the number of people who are returning to work and who depend on transit. Increasing service helps our riders achieve physical distancing."

Ridership on the system is now averaging approximately 105,000 passenger trips per weekday on 95 bus routes and three trolley lines. Prior to the pandemic, MTS was averaging approximately 290,000 trips per weekday.

A full list of all the route changes can be found on the June Service Changes webpage.

Some notable high-ridership routes include: Route 7 from downtown to Balboa Park and University/College; Route 11 from San Diego State University to downtown; and Route 30 from downtown to Old Town, Pacific Beach, La Jolla and UTC.

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