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Public Transit

Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project

Mid-Coast Corridor Transit ProjectThe Mid-Coast Corridor Transit 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. The proposed project would be funded in partnership by SANDAG (utilizing the TransNet half-cent sales tax) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) New Starts Program. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2015, with service starting in 2018.

View our 2013 project update video.

The Trolley extension project and route - known as the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) - begins just north of the Old Town Transit Center, and travels in existing railroad right-of-way and alongside Interstate 5 to Gilman Drive, then crosses to the west side of I-5 just south of Nobel Drive and continues on to the UCSD campus, crosses back over I-5 near Voigt Drive to 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 stations are proposed as part of the project at Tecolote Road, Clairemont Drive, Balboa Avenue, Nobel Drive, VA Medical CenterPepper Canyon serving UCSD west campus, Voigt Drive serving UCSD east campus, Executive Drive, and the Terminus Station at the Westfield UTC transit center.

View station simulations for Voigt Drive, Pepper Canyon, and the VA Medical Center.

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.

Take a tour of the Mid-Coast Corridor, see the landmarks, follow the LPA, and get a bird's eye view. (23MB WMV file, right click the link and select 'Save Target As ...' to download)

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 Corridor Transit Project 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 Corridor Transit Project will provide efficient transit connections to University City, UCSD, and reliable, higher speed 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 2013, the SANDAG Board of Directors adopted a number of refinements to the Locally Preferred Alternative. 

These changes include:

• Adding a station at the VA Medical Center

• Eliminating one of the two design options for the Genesee Avenue aerial guideway

• Adjustments to the alignment in select areas

These changes were adopted in response to feedback from the public and comments received on the draft environmental document. The changes will be included in the final environmental document, which is expected to be released in mid-2014.

Public Involvement

In 2008, SANDAG initiated a comprehensive public involvement effort, detailed in the Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project Public Involvement Plan, to communicate information about the Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project and to provide opportunities for community input during the environmental review process. SANDAG encourages the public to get involved in the project development process.

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 environmental review 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 one or more 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 midcoast@sandag.org or (619) 595-5620.

Funding Status

The project has been identified as a high-priority project by SANDAG and is part of the TransNet Early Action Program. TransNet will provide a 50 percent local match to federal New Starts funding. TransNet also will provide operating funds for the service through the year 2048. 

The current project budget is $1.7 billon, exclusive of financing costs. The project budget will be updated for inclusion in the Final SEIS/SEIR and updated again during Preliminary Engineering prior to entering Final Design in the FTA New Starts process. 

Scoping/Environmental Documents

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

2001

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

Volume I | Volume II

1995

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
Appendices

Final Environmental Impact Report for the Mid-Coast Corridor

Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project E-newsletter

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: david.hicks@sandag.org

Greg Gastelum, Project Development Program Manager
Phone: (619) 699-7378 , Email: greg.gastelum@sandag.org

Leslie Blanda, Project Development Program Manager
Phone: (619) 699-6907, Email: leslie.blanda@sandag.org

For media inquiries, please contact David Hicks at (619) 699-6939 or david.hicks@sandag.org.