UCSD Trolley to be Built by 2015

The Federal Transit Administration approved the proposal for the extension of the Old Town Trolley that will run through UCSD, making it officially eligible to receive federal funding. Completion is set for 2015.

The Mid-Coast Corridor Transit would run 11 miles from Old Town Transit Center to UCSD and Westfield University Town Center. There will be eight stations along the route, with stops planned at Tecolote Drive, Clairemont Drive and Balboa Avenue. The stops close to UCSD are at Gilman Drive, Nobel Drive, a stop on-campus around Price Center, Genesee Avenue and UTC.

The trolley extension costs $1.2 billion. Local officials hope for half of the funding to come from TransNet, a local half-cent sales tax for transportation passed in 2008. They hoped that they could receive federal funding for the remainder, something they are now eligible for.

“This is a significant milestone for the Mid-Coast project,” Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Transit System Paul Jablonski said in “Mid-Coast Trolley gets key federal approval” in the Sept. 16 San Diego Union-Tribune. “It means the federal government recognizes this as a needed and valuable piece of transportation infrastructure. It is a major step forward toward federal funding.”

The trolley extension is only part of a larger transportation plan to reduce green house gases, a new California law that requires the different regions to show how they will reduce their green house gas emissions with transit and freeways.

San Diego Association of Governments (Sandag) officials were confident that they were making strides by working with the Metropolitan Transit System.

“We are advancing environmental and design efforts to deliver this project as fast as possible,” Sandag Executive Director Gary Gallegos said in the same Sept. 16 Tribune article.

The planners expect the Mid-Coast Corridor Trolley to provide service to at least 20,000 riders a day
.
The approval moves the project into preliminary engineering.

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