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Community Celebrates Completion Of Region's First Freeway-level Transit Stations

February 24, 2018-- Elected leaders and regional transportation officials joined the Mid-City community Saturday to celebrate the completion of the region’s first freeway-level transit stations.

The grand opening celebration and community block party were held in City Heights on Saturday. Officials and community members kicked off the festivities by unveiling a bronze plaque that will be installed at the El Cajon Boulevard and University Avenue Centerline Rapid Transit Stations.

Following the unveiling, officials and community members boarded a Rapid transit bus and rode to the block party. Participants enjoyed music and entertainment from Z90.3 FM, kid’s activities, informational booths, a Caltrans Safety Van, and free food and refreshments sponsored by CH2M Hill, Jacobs Engineering, Kleinfelder, Kleinfelder Construction Services, TRC, KTUA, IBI Group, Aguirre & Associates, Dudek, Chuck Wehsener Engineering, and Coca-Cola.

“The Centerline Rapid stations will provide MTS passengers with even more convenience and reliability through the heart of the Mid-City corridor,” said MTS Board Chair Georgette Gómez, who is also a SANDAG Board of Directors representative, and councilmember for District 9. “Residents of City Heights worked hard to achieve this project, which will add a new level of transit service for the Mid-City community.”

The $65 million project led by the San Diego Association of Governments, was a collaborative effort between Caltrans District 11, which provided the construction management services for the project, and the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, which will maintain the transit stations and operate the Rapid transit service. Construction began on the SR 15 Mid-City Centerline Transit Stations project in 2015.

In addition to the San Diego Trolley and bus routes, MTS operates the Rapid system being deployed throughout the region by SANDAG.

Rapid is an elevated transit experience with fast and convenient service to work, school, shopping, and entertainment venues. Rapid improves the connectivity between Downtown San Diego and communities such as City Heights, Kearny Mesa, Miramar College, and many others along the SR-15 and I-15 corridors.

The South Bay Rapid is currently under construction. When complete, the South Bay route will carry passengers on a dedicated guideway from the Otay Mesa Port of Entry through Eastern Chula Vista to Downtown via a new direct access ramp recently added to interstate 805.

“The completion of this project represents nearly two decades of collaboration by San Diego’s Mid-City community, local elected officials, and the region’s transportation agencies, and we are extremely excited to share in this milestone today,” said Caltrans District 11 Interim Director Cory Binns. “These freeway-level transit stations are the first of their kind in San Diego County and prove how our region is thinking differently about how we improve the safety, integration, efficiency, and sustainability of our local transportation system.”

Saturday’s community celebration took over Orange Avenue next to Teralta Park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and provided a good vantage point to view the Mid-City Centerline El Cajon Boulevard freeway-level transit station.

Speakers included:

• Georgette Gómez, San Diego City Councilmember District 9, MTS Chair & SANDAG Board of Directors Representative
• Susan Davis, Congressmember, 53rd District
• Todd Gloria, Assemblymember, 78th District
• Ron Roberts, County of San Diego Supervisor, 4th District
• Cory Binns, Caltrans District 11 Interim Director
• Community Advocates:
o Maria Cortez, Project Advocate, Teralta Neighborhood Association, City Heights Community Development Corporation
o Jim Bliesner, Founder and Visionary of the Project
o Randy Van Vleck, City Heights Community Development Corporation
o Gary Weber, The El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association
o Tootie Thomas, Board President, The El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association

Built in conjunction with the transit stations project, SANDAG and Caltrans also constructed the SR 15 Commuter Bikeway, a bike path completely separated from vehicle traffic, connecting Mid-City communities with Mission Valley. The bike path opened in August 2017.

Led by the San Diego Association of Governments, the Centerline project was funded through contributions from the Federal Transit Administration and TransNet, the regional half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements administered by SANDAG.  For more information on the project, see the SR 15 Mid-City Centerline fact sheet

This project is part of a broader regional effort to provide travelers with innovative mobility choices that support a sustainable, healthy region and a vibrant economy.


Project Manager(s)

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or