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Public Transit

I-15 Rapid


Rapid is an exciting level of transit service that began operating along the I-15 corridor in June 2014. Rapid provides high-frequency, limited-stop service with increased reliability and convenience, similar to the services of a light rail system. Rapid features include transit signal priority, digital displays announcing next vehicle arrival times, modern shelters, and fewer stops. Other planned transit improvements will support Rapid services, connecting residential areas to major employment centers and creating a vast network of quick and efficient transportation solutions throughout the region.

I-15 Rapid service includes 29 articulated vehicles with improvements designed to make the ride more comfortable, accessible, and convenient for passengers. Rapid vehicles are designed to streamline and accelerate the boarding process by featuring multiple doors, low-floor designs, and fare boxes that accept Compass Cards. Additional design features - such as comfortable seating and larger windows -improve ride quality. Automated systems announce station stops and other transit information.

Several new Rapid routes began in 2014:

  • Rapid 235 is an all-day, limited-stop service (15-minute frequency in peak hours and 30 minute frequency off-peak) that runs between the Escondido Transit Center and Downtown San Diego via I-15. This service started in June 2014.

  • Rapid 237 is a weekday, extended peak hour service (15-minute frequency) that runs between Rancho Bernardo Transit Station and UC San Diego via I-15 and Mira Mesa Boulevard. This service began in October 2014.

  • Rapid Express 280 and 290 operate along the I-15 corridor during weekday peak hour periods, making frequent trips south in the morning and north in the late afternoons and evenings. Rapid Express 280 operates between the Escondido Transit Center and Downtown San Diego with one stop at the Del Lago Transit Station. Rapid Express 290 operates between the Rancho Bernardo Transit Station and Downtown San Diego with one stop at the Sabre Springs/Peñasquitos Transit Station.

    These Rapid routes complement MTS regional and local transit services, including Rapid 215, which operates between SDSU and Downtown San Diego.

    Rapid services use capital investment projects throughout the corridor:

  • The I-15 Express Lanes stretch 20-miles between SR 78 in Escondido and SR 163 in San Diego, and provide four express lanes separated from general purpose lanes. Transit, carpools, vanpools, motorcycles, and permitted clean air vehicles can access the Express Lanes at no cost; solo drivers may use the lanes for a fee with a valid FasTrak® account.

  • Direct Access Ramps (DAR) provide direct access to and from the I-15 Express Lanes, allowing users to avoid congestion at general traffic freeway on-ramps. DARs connect the I-15 directly to the Escondido Transit Center and Del Lago, Rancho Bernardo, Sabre Springs/Peñasquitos, and San Diego Miramar College transit stations.

    SANDAG is planning for additional improvements to the Rapid services:

  • Wi-Fi. A one-year Wi-Fi pilot program will evaluate the feasibility of providing free internet to Rapid riders.

  • Kearny Mesa Transit Improvements. The following improvements are under consideration along Clairemont Mesa Boulevard between SR 163 and I-15:

    - Phase One: Transit Signal Priority (TSP). TSP treatments allow Rapid vehicles to move through traffic more efficiently and maintain more reliable schedules. Signal improvements will be implemented by the end of 2015.

    - Phase Two: New Station to Serve Kaiser Permanente. In partnership with Kaiser Permanente, an additional Rapid station is planned at Ruffin Road to serve the new hospital in January 2017. This new Rapid station will include a large modern lighted shelter and a digital display announcing next vehicle arrival times.

    - Phase Three: Upgrades to Kearny Mesa Rapid Stations. Opportunities to upgrade existing Rapid stops on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard at Complex Drive, Overland Avenue, and Ruffin Road are being evaluated. Proposed improvements at each stop include a protected bike lane within the transit station, a bigger platform area to include a large modern shelter, a digital display announcing next vehicle arrival times, and secure bike parking. Final design of proposed improvements will begin in fall 2015. View conceptual designs.

  • Parking Access Control. Parking technologies are being researched to provide access to transit riders at the San Diego Miramar College and Del Lago transit stations.

    For more project and construction information visit

    For Rapid route and service information, visit

  • Project Manager

    Jennifer Williamson, Senior Transportation Planner
    Phone: (619) 699-1959, Email:

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