SPRINTER prepares to
North County is about to realize the benefits of one of the region’s largest public works projects: the SPRINTER. When the North County Transit District (NCTD) opens the SPRINTER in December and introduces its new transit network on January 13, 2008, many North County travel patterns will change. Residents will be able to use BREEZE bus connections to get to SPRINTER platforms or park their cars at most of the 15 area stations from Oceanside to Escondido.
SPRINTER trains are efficient, European-style transportation vehicles that are smaller than the COASTER train and larger than the San Diego Trolley. The interiors are bright and airy, with large picture windows and plenty of room for carry-ons. Level boarding makes it easy to roll on for passengers in mobility devices. These new generation diesel-powered multiple-unit trains meet all current and projected emission standards. Each train set holds up to 450 passengers.
Total trip time from Oceanside to Escondido is 53 minutes, with travel times of about three to five minutes between stations. Parking is free and available at most of the 15 SPRINTER stations. From approximately 4 a.m. to 9 p.m., the SPRINTER will run passenger service every 30 minutes on weekdays in both directions (that’s four trains an hour) and hourly service on the weekends.
SPRINTER fares are affordable and simple to understand: $2 for a single trip and $4 for a day pass. Seniors or passengers with disabilities can ride for $2 a day or $1 for a single trip. Regular monthly passes are priced at $54 and seniors or passengers with disabilities can purchase a monthly pass for $16. Tickets and passes are sold from ticket vending machines located at the stations. It will be easy to transfer between the SPRINTER and the BREEZE because fares are interchangeable.
Current BREEZE bus riders will have an enhancement of service in the corridor, with faster travel times and easy feeder service through updated BREEZE routes. The new NCTD transit network calls for many BREEZE bus routes to be changed, effective January 13, 2008, so that they meet up with the trains at SPRINTER stations. The SPRINTER also will have links to other rail lines in Oceanside: the COASTER, Amtrak, and Metrolink, making the Southern California region accessible to all transit riders.
The SPRINTER encourages smart growth and transit-oriented development. Businesses along the corridor, such as those in the Rancho del Oro Plaza shopping center on Oceanside Boulevard, are excited about the SPRINTER bringing more pedestrian traffic to their areas. Places of employment, such as Genentech and Kaiser Permanente located in the Ocean Ranch Corporate Centre, are realizing the benefit of easy access for employees through the public transit network.
The SPRINTER is an investment in our community that stimulates the local economy. The project has leveraged more than 152 million federal dollars with the help of TransNet local sales tax – money that would not have been spent in this region had it not been for the SPRINTER. Since 2004, SPRINTER construction has brought more than 5,000 jobs to the region. The SPRINTER also brings an additional 170 on-site jobs for operation and maintenance of the system with more than 300 indirect jobs generated.
You don’t have to use the SPRINTER to benefit from it. The SPRINTER will help get cars off the road and reduce air pollution. SANDAG studies show a reduction of about 5,000 daily auto trips as a result of the SPRINTER. NCTD has more than 9,000 daily bus riders currently using BREEZE routes 302, 318 and 320, which parallel the SPRINTER route. The SPRINTER is projected to transport more than 11,000 passengers per day at the end of the first year of service. By 2020, daily rider projections will be near 20,000.
Current information about the SPRINTER is available at www.gonctd.com.