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Public Transit

Mid-Coast Trolley

Mid-Coast Corridor Transit ProjectFollow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for the latest project news and updates.

Project Overview

The Mid-Coast Trolley project will extend Trolley service from Santa Fe Depot in Downtown San Diego to the University City community, serving major activity centers such as Old Town, the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and Westfield UTC. SANDAG will pay for half the project with funds from the region's TransNet half-cent sales tax for transportation. We are seeking the other half of the funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) New Starts Program. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2016, with service beginning approximately four years later.

The Trolley extension route begins just north of the Old Town Transit Center and travels in existing railroad right-of-way and alongside Interstate 5 to Gilman Drive. It crosses to the west side of I-5 just south of Nobel Drive and continues on to the UCSD campus, crosses back to the east side of I-5 near Voigt Drive to serve the UCSD east campus and medical centers on the east side of I-5, transitions into the median of Genesee Avenue, and continues down Genesee Avenue to the Westfield UTC transit center (view map). 

Nine new stations will be constructed at Tecolote Road, Clairemont Drive, Balboa Avenue, Nobel Drive, VA Medical Center, Pepper Canyon (serving UCSD west campus), Voigt Drive (serving UCSD east campus), Executive Drive, and the Terminus Station at the Westfield UTC transit center.

SANDAG has worked with the community to refine and develop designs for each station. View presentations made to corridor planning groups highlighting the design features of stations in the University Community, Pacific Beach, Clairemont, and Linda Vista.

You also can view simulations of each station: Tecolote Road, Clairemont Drive, Balboa Avenue, Nobel Drive, VA Medical Center, Pepper Canyon, Voigt Drive, Executive Drive, and Westfield UTC Transit Center.

View a 'flyover' of the Mid-Coast Trolley route.

The project will connect corridor residents with other Trolley lines serving Mission Valley, East County, and South County. As an extension of the existing Blue Line, it will offer a one-seat (no transfer) ride from the international border and communities south of Downtown San Diego all the way to University City. This new service will enhance direct public access to other regional activity centers and improve travel options to employment, education, medical, and retail centers for corridor residents, commuters, and visitors.

Project Need

Freeways and arterials in the Mid-Coast Corridor are generally congested and traffic congestion is projected to increase more as the region grows. The population along the corridor is predicted to increase 19 percent by the year 2030, while employment is predicted to increase 12 percent. The Mid-Coast Trolley will expand transportation capacity in the corridor to accommodate existing and future travel demand, particularly for peak-period commute trips. The project will provide an effective alternative to congested freeways and roadways for travelers and will reduce vehicle miles traveled.

The University City area has developed as a major employment and high density residential area, similar to Downtown San Diego. Although University City is considered San Diego’s second downtown and UCSD is one of the region’s largest trip generators, neither is directly served by regional transit. The Mid-Coast Trolley extension will provide efficient transit connections to University City, UCSD, as well as frequent and reliable, Trolley service throughout the corridor. Effective transit that is competitive with the automobile will attract riders to transit, improve regional mobility, and help maintain and enhance San Diego’s quality of life.

Project Status

In November 2014, the Mid-Coast Trolley received its final environmental clearance from the SANDAG Board of Directors. The Mid-Coast Trolley is now poised to compete for federal funding and move forward into construction.

The FTA approved the project’s entry into final engineering in April 2015. SANDAG is now working to secure a full funding grant agreement (FFGA) from the FTA’s New Starts program. Anticipated in late 2015, the FFGA would provide 50 percent of the project funding. Including financing, the project is expected to cost approximately $1.7 billion, exclusive of financing, with half coming from the FFGA and half from the region’s TransNet half-cent sales tax for transportation.

Pre-construction activities including right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation will be in process in 2015. Construction for utility relocation is anticipated to begin in late summer 2015.

Project construction is anticipated to begin in early 2016.

Contracting Opportunities

Construction on the Mid-Coast Trolley is anticipated to start in early 2016, with service beginning approximately four years later. In May 2014, the SANDAG Board of Directors selected Mid Coast Transit Constructors, a joint venture firm of Stacy & Witbeck, Inc., Skanska USA, and Herzog Contracting Corporation, to serve as the construction manager/general contractor for the project.

Companies interested in contracting opportunities on the Mid-Coast Trolley project can find more information here.

Small contractors and disadvantaged business enterprises interesting in working on SANDAG projects also can find more information here.

Public Involvement

A comprehensive public involvement effort is underway to communicate information about the Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project and seek input from the public. 

Here are some ways you can become involved:

• Attend meetings of the Project Working Group (PWG). The PWG is composed of a variety of members representing constituencies in the Mid-Coast Corridor, including UCSD, community planning groups, environmental groups, employers, and transportation advocates. They are providing input to SANDAG throughout the project development process. Members of the public are invited to view meeting agendas, minutes, and meeting materials, as well as attend meetings.

• Sign-up for the Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project eNewsletter.

• Participate in public meetings.

• Attend SANDAG Transportation Committee and Board of Directors meetings when the Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project is presented.

• Provide written comments on draft documents when they become available for public review.

• Request a presentation by SANDAG staff for your neighborhood association or civic group by contacting or (619) 595-5620.

Environmental Documents

Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project Final SEIS/SEIR – October 2014

Notice of Availability of the Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project Final SEIS/SEIR – October 2014 (English)

Notice of Availability (abridged) of the Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project Final SEIS/SEIR – October 2014 (Spanish)

Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project SEIS - Supplement to the SEIR - July 2014

Report only
Appendices A-C only

Draft SEIS/SEIR - May 2013
Notice of Availability: English | En Español - May 2013
Notice of Completion - May 2013
NEPA Scoping Report - October 2011
CEQA Scoping Report - July 2010

Final Comparative Evaluation of Alternatives Report

Table of Contents and Executive Summary
Chapter 1 Purpose and Need
Chapter 2 Process for Development and Screening of Alternatives
Chapter 3 Identification and Screening of Initial Alternatives
Chapter 4 Conceptual Alternatives Considered
Chapter 5 Analysis of Transportation, Environmental, Cost and Financial Considerations (pages 1 - 50)
Chapter 5 Continued (pages 51 - 102)
Chapter 6 Evaluation of Conceptual Alternatives
Chapter 7 Review and Selection of Alternatives for Scoping
Chapter 8 Public Outreach, Scoping Process, and Scoping Comments
Chapter 9 Recommended Locally Preferred Alternative and Alternatives for Evaluation in Draft SEIS/SEIR
Appendix A Conceptual Plans
Appendix B References


Mid-Coast Corridor Project
Balboa Extension and Nobel Drive COASTER Station

Volume I | Volume II


Mid-Coast Corridor
Alternative Analysis / Draft Environmental Impact Statement /
Draft Environmental Impact Report / Final Environmental Impact Statement

Cover | Executive Summary
Chapter 1 - Purpose and Need
Chapter 2 - Alternatives Considered
Chapter 3 - Affected Environment
Chapter 4 - Transportation Impacts
Chapter 5 - Environmental Consequences
Chapter 6 - Financial Analysis and Evaluation of Alternatives

Final Environmental Impact Report for the Mid-Coast Corridor

Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project E-newsletter

April 2015 | November 2014 | October 2014 | October 2014 | August 2014 | July 2014 | June 2014 | Winter 2014 | November 2013 | May 2013 | Fall 2012 | Spring 2012 | Fall 2011Summer 2011 | December 2010 | August 2010 | July 2010 | June 2010 | May 2010 | April 2010 | March 2010 | February 2010 | December 2009/January 2010 | November 2009 | October 2009

Project Manager

David Hicks, Communications Manager
Phone: (619) 699-6939, Email:

Greg Gastelum, Project Development Program Manager
Phone: (619) 699-7378 , Email:

Leslie Blanda, Project Development Program Manager
Phone: (619) 699-6907, Email:

For media inquiries, please contact David Hicks at (619) 699-6939 or