The Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) announced preliminary numbers for ridership since the new Trolley extension to University Center opened on Nov. 21, showing an estimate of more than 85,000 trips taken on the entire Trolley network on opening day.
The announced data includes more than 60,000 trips on the UC San Diego Blue Line. Compared to the previous Sunday ridership estimates, Trolley system ridership increased approximately 74% (up from 49,000), and ridership on the UCSD Blue Line, which runs between San Ysidro and UTC, more than doubled (approximate 140% increase from 25,000 to more than 60,000).
“When we began this project, we knew it would be a game-changer for our region. This line had been under construction for five years, and the excitement and anticipation we all had at MTS was equally matched by the community,” said Sharon Cooney, MTS CEO. “The new Trolley extension expanded our system by 20%, and is already opening opportunities to connect thousands of community members to healthcare, education and new jobs.”
The Trolley extension was built by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and operated by MTS. It provides a direct connection from the U.S./Mexico Border to the University City Community.
MTS estimates about 24,000 trips were taken on Sunday from the nine new stops along the extension, with over 16,000 trips coming from the UCSD Central Campus and UTC stations alone.
Prior to the Trolley extension opening, ridership was up to approximately 65% of pre-pandemic levels, and approaching 70% on weekends. These include six bus routes with connections between beach areas and the UC San Diego Blue Line.
MTS operates 95 bus routes and three Trolley lines across 10 cities and unincorporated areas of San Diego County. Updated schedules can be accessed on the MTS website. MTS requires people to wear face coverings at all times, and practice physical distancing when possible.