|Article by Harvey Glickenstein|
The Mid-Coast Trolley, an 11-mile expansion of the Metropolitan Transit System’s Blue Line, broke ground in 2016. At that time, the FTA guaranteed a US$1.04billion matching grant over a 10−year period for the US$2.17 billion expansion project.
“This is a big win for the San Diego region,” said Terry Sinnott, SANDAG chair and Del Mar city councilmember. “I’d like to thank Mayor Faulconer for tirelessly working to make this happen.”
“Not only do these funds support jobs and businesses in the region critical to construction of the project, this trolley expansion will provide high-frequency transit to one of densest employment areas in the region, relieving congestion, reducing parking needs, and increasing access to jobs.”
The Mid-Coast Trolley will provide a much-needed transit alternative along its corridor, which stretches from Old Town in the south to the University of California (UC)–San Diego and University City in the north.
“We’ve been pushing hard for additional transportation funding for the Mid-Coast Trolley extension to create a more vibrant transit network for the San Diego region,” said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, who helped secure the supplemental appropriation.
“This support from the FTA will help us deliver one of the largest and most significant transit projects in San Diego history on time and on budget. It will also save local taxpayers millions of dollars that can be used for other critical transportation upgrades.”
Revenue from TransNet, the countywide half-cent sales tax for transportation, will cover half of the project’s total project.
The Mid-Coast Trolley Project will add nine new stations, providing access to Mission Bay, Pacific Beach, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the UC–San Diego campus, and the dense residential and commercial areas along Genesee Avenue in University City. Construction began in fall 2016, and service is anticipated to begin in 2021.