July 26, 2010

Trolley extension route to UC San Diego selected

The San Diego Association of Governments' (SANDAG) board selected a route for the future extension of the San Diego Trolley from the Old Town Transit Center to the University of California, San Diego and University Towne Centre.

In a unanimous vote, the Board approved a recommendation to select Light Rail Transit Alternative 1, which would extend trolley service north from Old Town Transit Center along the existing rail corridor just east of I-5, cross over I-5 south of Nobel Drive continuing to serve UCSD, then cross to the east side of I-5 at or near Voigt Drive and head south along Genesee Avenue to a transit center at University Towne Centre.

Over the last several months, SANDAG received public input on three potential alignments for the new light rail service. Now that one has been selected, the agency will begin detailed environmental studies on the route.

"We are doing what we promised voters by extending the trolley into the North City and serving the vital UCSD campus and its students. Construction will quickly create many jobs, and its completion in a few years will greatly expand access to employment centers for thousands of San Diegans," said Supervisor Ron Roberts, SANDAG Transportation Committee member and chair of the Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project Working Group.

The $1.2 billion, 11-mile extension to the region's light rail system is expected to increase transit ridership by 20,000 boardings a day. The voter-approved project has half of the funds dedicated from the TransNet half-cent sales tax.

SANDAG will seek matching funds for the project from the Federal Transit Administration. Construction could begin as soon as 2013, and the line could be in operation as soon as 2015.

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