The Mid-Coast trolley line is a multibillion-dollar project that will change San Diego’s transit system. One low-cost way to help ensure the project pays off: Improve the buses that feed into the line.
The 215 Rapid bus averages only 12 mph. It’s not much faster than a cyclist. Offboard ticket purchasing and allowing all passengers to board at any door could speed up service. There are more radical — and controversial — solutions San Diego could try, too.
In branding, San Diego’s Rapid bus looks as sleek as the best bus rapid transit systems. But on the ground, it falls short of the standards for good bus service.
Emails obtained by VOSD reveal that top SANDAG officials were told the agency’s economic forecasts — and therefore its Measure A numbers — were way off almost a year before the 2016 election. Instead of acting, the agency continued to rely on numbers they’d been told were faulty, misleading voters in the process and keeping important information from potential watchdogs.
The stretch from Los Angeles to San Diego is one of America’s busiest travel corridors. Yet the plans for California’s high-speed rail prioritizes the route from Los Angeles to San Francisco instead. There are steps Southern California officials could take in the meantime, however, that would drastically improve rail services and encourage more people to ride.
Ridership for MTS Access, which provides service for seniors and the disabled, has risen sharply over the last three years. The rising use and cost of the service reveal some of the larger challenges facing San Diego as it figures out how its growing senior population will get around.
Millennials want to live in urban, mixed-use environments that are built around biking, walking, transit, shared rides and plenty of social encounters. And our regional plans just don’t do enough for this rising generation.
Protea Properties is optimistic it’s reached a deal with SANDAG to build roughly 40 condos, retail space and commuter parking for a new trolley station on three and a half acres at Clairemont Drive, on the new $2.1 billion Mid-Coast Trolley line set to open in 2021. The agency had held the threat of eminent domain over the developer’s head for months.
Aside from big questions surrounding whether SANDAG’s proposed sales tax increase will generate the amount the agency says it will, opponents point to other promises they think could go unfulfilled — like whether SANDAG will complete the highest-priority projects within 15 years, whether it will use local labor and whether the measure will do anything to improve water quality.
My fellow Ph.D. students and I want to stay in San Diego and have no interest in the Bay Area’s soul-sucking commutes, bank-draining rents and Mission-style burritos. Yet most of us will move there anyway.