SAN DIEGO – The opening day is almost here for San Diego’s big new trolley line expansion, and FOX 5 got a tour with a preview on Thursday.
The 11-mile extension of the UC San Diego Blue Line, built by SUNDAY and operated by Metropolitan Transit System, includes nine new stations from the Santa Fe Depot downtown to the University City area along the Mid-Coast I-5 Corridor.
“You have educational opportunities, job opportunities – there are health care – that connect a whole new region to our system,” MTS chief Rob Schupp told FOX 5 on Thursday. “This will also give people living in the South Bay the one-seat ride all the way up here.”
It’s the region’s largest transit project to date – connects the wagon with major employment centers in the Sorrento Valley and University City areas and direct access to places like Westfield UTC and UC San Diego, where Chancellor Pradeep Khosla called it a “dream come true” for the university community.
“Every stop on this light rail is in my mind a part of this campus. It connects us seamlessly – the communities around the stops, we can consider them a part of our campus,” Khosla said.
It’s a $ 2.17 billion project that started in 2016 under the leadership of SANDAG.
Fifty-two percent of the funding is local from Transnet, the voter-approved sales tax of half a cent for regional transport projects. 48 percent of the funding comes from federal grants.
The hope is that the new line will cut down on future congestion and traffic in the area – and offer more people an alternative to getting in the car and getting on crowded roads.
“Projections are that we will get 27,000 new riders a day, not only on this line, but it will generate new riders on all our systems,” Schupp said.
On November 21, the first official day of expansion of the expansion, riders can take any trolley for free all day.
A grand opening event is also scheduled for Sunday at the UC San Diego trolley stop. You can answer and get more information here.
FOX 5’s Matt Meyer contributed to this report.
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