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Frequently Asked Questions

If your questions about the SuperLoop aren't answered below, e-mail the project team at superloop@sandag.org.

   
  General
   
1. When will the SuperLoop be up and running?
2. Will there be additional SuperLoop community meetings?
3. SuperLoop vehicles don't look as small as we were expecting. Why is that?
4. Where will SuperLoop stations be located?
5. How often will SuperLoop vehicles run?
6. Who are the anticipated riders of the SuperLoop?
7. Where will I be able to get SuperLoop schedule information?
8. What organization will keep the stations and vehicles clean?
9. I don't like the vehicles' graphic design. Can you change it?
10. Has the SuperLoop bus station design changed?
11. How does the SuperLoop fit in with the trolley expansion?
 
  Alignment
   
12. Why was the SuperLoop route extended south to the La Jolla Colony area?
13. Will the SuperLoop connect with the proposed high density development at La Jolla Commons, which is just north of La Jolla Village Drive and Judicial Drive?
14. Why doesn't the SuperLoop route go to South University City, Torrey Pines Mesa or Sorrento Mesa?
15. Why doesn't the SuperLoop directly serve the Veteran's Hospital?
16. Why doesn't the SuperLoop provide service to Torrey Pines Hospital?
17. How were SuperLoop station locations determined?
   
  Community Impacts
   
18. Some neighborhoods have experienced dissatisfaction with shuttle services in their areas causing too much noise. Won't the SuperLoop present similar challenges?
19. Will UCSD stop operating their shuttle when the SuperLoop begins operations?
20. Won't the SuperLoop service prompt people to take up local street and commercial parking in order to use the shuttle, as has happened in the Villa La Jolla area?
21. How can we be certain MTS will operate the SuperLoop at the same level of service discussed by project planners and engineers?
22. Is UCSD exerting major influence on how the SuperLoop will operate?
23. Does the SuperLoop project include development of short term Park 'n Ride parking facilities?
24. How will SuperLoop construction impact local residents and businesses?
   
  Funding
   
25. Will taxpayers be subsidizing UCSD student bus riding?
26. The high price of gas is leading commuters to explore transit alternatives. How much will it cost to ride the SuperLoop?
27. Will there be subsidized rider passes for businesses?
28. Will a reduced fare be offered to University City residents as an incentive to use the SuperLoop?
29. How is the SuperLoop funded?
30. How much does the SuperLoop project cost?
31. Have University City developers, such as Garden Communities and La Jolla Commons been engaged to provide Park 'n Ride facilities, provide set-aside parking, provide fees, or maintain SuperLoop stations?
   
  Traffic
   
32. Getting around University City is easy, so why is SuperLoop needed?
33. Will SuperLoop really improve traffic congestion in North University City?
34. Can't you just coordinate the traffic signals to relieve congestion?
35. Will the SuperLoop traffic signal changes distrupt me?
36. Will SuperLoop improve the flow of traffic at the freeway intersections of I-5 and I-805?
   
  Safety/Accessibility
   
37. Will SuperLoop stations be accessible to disabled passengers?
38. Will the SuperLoop create a pedestrian path or easement from the residential community at La Jolla Scenic Drive to Gilman Drive?
39. How will skateboarders be kept from using the SuperLoop stations as ramps for recreation purposes?
   
1. When will the SuperLoop be up and running?
 

The first phase of operation began on June 15, 2009. Station construction will begin in winter 2010. SuperLoop will begin operations in winter 2011.

 
2. Will there be additional SuperLoop community meetings?
  We engaged community members, business leaders, environmental groups and other stakeholders in interviews in November and December of 2005 and hosted two community meetings on March 22, 2006. At the March 22 meetings the project routing, station locations, and key project features were presented. No additional community meetings are planned at this time. However, if your group desires additional information, please contact Brian Hausknecht at bhau@sandag.org and some information can be forwarded, or a meeting may be arranged.
 
3. SuperLoop vehicles don’t look as small as we were expecting. Why is that?
 

A traditional bus is 40 ft long. SuperLoop vehicles are 35 feet in length and are intended to fit in within the context of the community. The vehicles have two doors in order to reduce boarding time and will:

• Maintain a frequency of one vehicle arriving at each station approximately every 10 minutes during peak travel times and every 15 minutes during off-peak times;
• Handle the anticipated ridership numbers;
• Be equipped with low-emissions, gasoline hybrid technology;
• Be aerodynamic.

 
4. Where will SuperLoop stations be located?
 

There are 17 SuperLoop stations planned for University City and UCSD. The stations will be located at:

• UCSD/Gilman Transit Center
• Scripps Hospital
• UCSD East Campus
• Executive Drive Regents Park Row
• Executive Drive at Executive Way
• La Jolla Commons (future option)
• Judicial Drive at Golden Haven
• Nobel Park
• Nobel Drive at Renaissance (future option)
• Nobel Drive at Town Centre
• University Towne Centre
• Nobel Drive at Regents Road
• Regents Road at Arriba Street
• Palmilla Drive at Lebon Drive
• Nobel Drive at Lebon Drive
• La Jolla Village Square
• Gilman Drive at Villa La Jolla

 

5.

How often will SuperLoop vehicles run?
  At the launch of SuperLoop service vehicles will run approximately every 10 minutes during the peak periods and every 15 minutes during off peak periods, seven days a week. This is the service frequency being used for interim service. Adjustments may be made after periodic review to better serve demand.
 
6. Who are the anticipated riders of the SuperLoop?
  Traffic pattern studies show that 60% of vehicles traveling in University City make internal trips. The SuperLoop is expected to reduce the number of vehicles on the road by absorbing the traffic created by internal travelers.
 

7.

Where will I be able to get SuperLoop schedule information?
  SuperLoop is intended to be a frequent and dependable service that runs approximately every 10 minutes during peak hours. The Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), the operating company, has schedule information available on its Web site www.sdmts.com. Route-specific information for SuperLoop routes 201 and 202 are published and distributed by MTS and can be found on every SuperLoop vehicle. In addition, next bus message boards at the stations will indicate when the next bus is due.
 
8. What organization will keep the stations and vehicles clean?
  The SuperLoop vehicles will be well maintained. SANDAG will work with MTS to make sure that regular maintenance and cleaning of stations is performed. For riders’ convenience, each station will include garbage receptacles.
 
9. I don’t like the vehicles’ graphic design. Can you change it?
  The vehicle branding was developed in cooperation with area stakeholders, SANDAG, MTS, and through the use of community focus groups. The recommended branding was incorporated into station design and vehicle paint schemes.
 
10. Has the SuperLoop bus station design changed?
  The SuperLoop bus station final design retains the up-scale, modern design concept that was presented to the public. This concept continues to include a shelter incorporating a metal truss to support glass ceiling and windscreen sections, along with lighting, seating, a lean rail, and next bus message sign. The size of the shelter and the materials of construction have been modified to remain withing the $225,000 construction cost limit per station.
 
11. How does the SuperLoop fit in with the trolley expansion?
  SuperLoop is one of the transit improvements recommended in the 2003 Mid-Coast Strategic Transportation Study. Also included in the Mid-Coast Study is the Mid-Coast Light Rail Expansion Project, which extends the San Diego Trolley from the Old Town Transit Center north to University City. SuperLoop will connect to the Mid-Coast Light Rail Transit system when the LRT begins operations in 2014.
 
12. Why was the SuperLoop route extended south to the La Jolla Colony area?
 

To further enhance all public transportation in the University City community, SANDAG and MTS made route changes to Route 30 (regional service to La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Old Town and Downtown) and to SuperLoop.  In September 2010, Route 30 was moved from routing on Nobel Drive, Lebon Drive, and Regents Road to routing on La Jolla Village Drive, providing more direct service and shorter trip times for this important regional route. As of September 2010, SuperLoop serves the many residents in La Jolla Colony with higher frequency and new weekend service.  The new routing includes stops at the Lebon Drive/Palmilla Drive and Regents Road/Arriba Street intersections.

 
13. Will the SuperLoop connect with the proposed high density development at La Jolla Commons, which is just north of La Jolla Village Drive and Judicial Drive?
  An additional SuperLoop station at La Jolla Commons is being explored in cooperation with the private developer.
 
14. Why doesn’t the SuperLoop route go to South University City, Torrey Pines Mesa or Sorrento Mesa?
  The SuperLoop alignment was determined and agreed to in the 2003 Mid-Coast Strategic Transportation Study and is designed as a local circulator to provide connection to regional transit systems serving begin the SuperLoop area. As MTS further evaluates transit service in the area there may be other opportunities to investigate additional transit service to these areas.
 
15. Why doesn’t the SuperLoop directly serve the Veteran’s Hospital?
  For a number of reasons locating a stop directly in front of the VA Hospital was deemed unfeasible. The portion of the route directly adjacent to the VA Medical Center does not allow for an easy pedestrian connection into the hospital. The proposed UCSD/ Gilman Transit Center will be within a short walk to the VA Medical Center. There will be connecting buses to the medical center’s front door to serve the needs of hospital patients and staff.
 
16. Why doesn’t the SuperLoop provide service to the Torrey Pines Hospital?
  The basic SuperLoop alignment was determined and agreed to in the Mid-Coast Strategic Transportation Study, which was completed in 2004. We have done extensive research to determine the optimal alignment of the SuperLoop and we believe we have found that alignment. There will be ample opportunity to link SuperLoop service to other current and future transit services to and from other neighborhoods around the SuperLoop service area.
 
17. How were SuperLoop station locations determined?
  The 2003 Mid-Coast Strategic Transportation Study identified the basic station locations to be served by the SuperLoop. The stations were spaced for optimum bus operations and to improve travel times. While not all station preferences are satisfied by the current station locations, potential riders will be happy to know that they will not need to walk more than a quarter mile in either direction to the next station on the route.
 
18. Some neighborhoods have experienced dissatisfaction with shuttle services in their areas causing too much noise. Won’t the SuperLoop present similar challenges?
  We are sensitive to the problems some neighborhoods have encountered with noise in the past and during vehicle procurement we incorporated the use of alternative fuels and propulsion systems that emit less pollution and result in less noise than most conventional transit vehicles.
 
19. Will UCSD stop operating their shuttle when the SuperLoop begins operations?
  UCSD has not formally indicated any changes to their current UCSD shuttle service. Should there be changes in the operation of the UCSD service, we will review the impacts of those changes on SuperLoop operation and work with UCSD to accommodate those changes.
 
20. Won’t the SuperLoop service prompt people to take up local street and commercial parking in order to use the shuttle, as has happened in the Villa La Jolla area?
  It is clear that the area already has significant parking issues for a number of reasons, ranging from both residential and commercial growth in the area to street parking being used by persons headed to UCSD and nearby commercial developments. One way to handle overflow parking is through neighborhood-based parking programs that discourage long-term parkers from using neighborhood streets. For more information about establishing parking districts, contact your City Council representative.
 
21. How can we be certain MTS will operate the SuperLoop at the same level of service discussed by project planners and engineers?
  MTS payment is contingent on services rendered and must meet certain requirements to receive operating payments from SANDAG.
 
22. Is UCSD exerting major influence on how the SuperLoop will operate?
  While UCSD is an important stakeholder for the SuperLoop, we are considering the needs of all stakeholders as well. One of our primary goals with UCSD is to make sure our SuperLoop and their existing shuttle service complement one another.
 
23. Does the SuperLoop project include development of short term Park ‘n Ride parking facilities?
  SuperLoop is envisioned to be a local circulator connecting residences with places of employment and retail within the study area and is not a park and ride distribution service. In addition, many people using SuperLoop will ride other regional service to the project area and transfer to SuperLoop to complete their trip. Accordingly, provision of parking is not required and is not part of the project.
 
24. How will SuperLoop construction impact local residents and businesses?
  Only minor construction is required to implement the SuperLoop. Portions of traffic lanes may be closed during off-peak periods and pedestrians may be required to walk around barricaded areas as stations are built. Minor modifications to roadways will be made during off-peak hours to minimize traffic impacts.
 
25.

Will taxpayers be subsidizing UCSD student bus riding?

  SuperLoop service will be open to all of the public, including students, however, UCSD operates a separate transit service for students that is funded by student fees. We anticipate that students will continue to ride the UCSD service tailored specifically to their needs.
 
26. The high price of gas is leading commuters to explore transit alternatives. How much will it cost to ride the SuperLoop?
 

The one-way fare for SuperLoop is $2.25 (current fare in summer 2010).  A full-day fare with unlimited transfers is $5.00.  UCSD students with I.D. and a bus zone sticker ride for free.

 
27. Will there be subsidized rider passes for businesses?
  The Metropolitan Transit System will operate SuperLoop. SANDAG will work with MTS to develop incentive programs for businesses.
 
28. Will a reduced fare be offered to University City residents as an incentive to use the SuperLoop?
  SuperLoop and MTS are governed by non-discrimination regulations that require equitable fares for every San Diego transit service. Rider fees will coincide with operating costs and fares charged throughout the County.
 
29. How is the SuperLoop funded?
  SuperLoop is funded by TransNet, a half-cent sales tax that was extended by voters in November 2004 and other State and Federal funding sources.
 
30. How much does the SuperLoop project cost?
  As contained with the current TransNet Plan of Finance, $39 million is budgeted for SuperLoop capital improvements.
 
31. Have University City developers, such as Garden Communities and La Jolla Commons been engaged to provide Park ‘n Ride facilities, provide set-aside parking, provide fees, or maintain SuperLoop stations?
  SuperLoop provides a new amenity for residents and users of these developments. SANDAG will take this added value into consideration when negotiating the capital improvemenst at these locations, including potential cost contributions.
 
32. Getting around University City is easy, so why is SuperLoop needed?
  Our traffic studies indicate there are pockets of congestion in the study area and this congestion will increase in the future. Establishment of SuperLoop is one strategy that will help deal with current and future congestion. Our transportation studies and ridership analysis shows there is both a need for this service and a willingness to use it once it starts. The first year of SuperLoop interim service (through June 2010) attracted almost 900,000 passengers, exceeding both SANDAG and MTS ridership forecasts.
 
33. Will SuperLoop really improve traffic congestion in North University City?
  We expect the SuperLoop to have a positive effect on traffic in the area as it will provide an alternative travel option to people who did not previously have a transportation choice. We believe both area residents and employees from office parks and major employment centers will embrace SuperLoop. The results from the first year of SuperLoop Interim service (through June 2010) show strong rider support for this first phase of SuperLoop.
 
34. Can’t you just coordinate the traffic signals to relieve congestion?
  The City of San Diego is in charge of traffic signalization and, as part of the SuperLoop project, we are working closely with the City to maximize signal coordination. SuperLoop riders will benefit by such priority treatments as queue jumping and priority signal use. Transit priority techniques will either extend green lights or shorten red light signal times to allow the bus to move through the intersection. In addition to the potential to relieve congestion, a project like the SuperLoop is designed to increase accessibility and to provide meaningful choices for people getting around.
 
35. Will the SuperLoop traffic signal changes disrupt me?
  The SuperLoop is designed to serve the transit needs of the area with minimal impacts to adjacent traffic. In many cases, the project will create additional turn lanes to make it easier to get through intersections. New coordinated signals should benefit all traffic. The impact on other traffic is minimal.
 
36. Will SuperLoop improve the flow of traffic at the freeway intersections of I-5 and I-805?
  Intersection construction is beyond the scope of the SuperLoop project. However, as part of the preparation of the Regional Transportation Plan, SANDAG and Caltrans will be looking at capital improvements and other traffic management strategies to address freeway interchange congestion. The SuperLoop will also avoid conflicting with prevailing traffic patterns near on-ramps to these freeways as much as possible.
 
37. Will SuperLoop stations be accessible to disabled passengers?
  SuperLoop will meet and exceed the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Wheelchairs will easily be able to board the SuperLoop.
 
38. Will the SuperLoop create a pedestrian path or easement from the residential community at La Jolla Scenic Drive to Gilman Drive?
  Development of a pedestrian bridge is not in the scope of the SuperLoop project; however, the service will be accessible at the stations described above. The project team will identify strategies to improve pedestrian connections from adjacent communities and properties.
 
39. How will skateboarders be kept from using the SuperLoop stations as ramps for recreational purposes?
  SuperLoop stations will include gradually raised platforms for easy boarding. Station infrastructure will be designed to have gradual slopes and some barriers on seating and railings to make them unattractive for use by skateboarders.