VOSD Podcast: The State of San Diego Transit - Voice of San Diego

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VOSD Podcast: The State of San Diego Transit

This week on the VOSD podcast, Scott Lewis, Andrew Keatts and Sara Libby discuss big city plans on the horizon. Also, County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher talks about San Diego transit and his new role at MTS.

An MTS trolley makes its way through downtown San Diego. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Stadiums, hotel taxes, vacation rentals and transit policy: It was basically VOSD nerds’ Christmas on this week’s podcast.

First, the stadium. We learned a lot this week about what’s holding up the Mission Valley land deal between the city and San Diego State University.

A new appraisal came out that shows the two sides disagree starkly about whether the sale price of the land should be reduced by the cost of construction of a river park.

SDSU also unilaterally withdrew from its confidentiality agreement with the city and the university president, Adela de la Torre, spoke to the media to share the school’s perspective. 

Hosts Scott Lewis, Sara Libby and Andrew Keatts did a step-by-step break down of all that’s happened so far.

Vacation Rental Update: There’s No Update

It’s been almost a year since city leaders passed new regulations on vacation rentals. Then they turned around and rescinded their own rules, after vacation rental platforms pooled more than $1 million to back a signature-gathering effort to try to overturn the rules.

Politicians promised to work quickly to get a new proposal together. But, as Lisa Halverstadt reports, nothing has happened since.

We discuss that at 12:20 in the show. 

The City’s Ambitious Homelessness Plan

For months now, San Diego leaders have been waiting for a comprehensive plan to address homelessness. And this week they finally got it. 

The plan recommends 3,500 new supportive housing units. Plus, hundreds of new slots for rental assistance and subsidies for those on the brink of homelessness.

The total cost: $1.9 billion over a 10-year period.

We’ve got those details at 15:30.

The Hotel Tax Is Back

Yes! For A Better San Diego is the measure being championed by Mayor Kevin Faulconer that would raise hotel taxes to help expand the convention center and fund homeless programs and road repairs.

At a press conference Thursday, local leaders, union members and homeless service providers literally lined up to support the March 2020 ballot measure.

“It’s not only about the thousands of jobs that you just heard, the infrastructure and the roads, but the most important issue that is facing our city: the issue of homelessness – and for the first time, a dedicated funding stream,” Faulconer said.

This portion of the podcast starts at 16:15.

News of the Week 

On the second half of the show, we sat down with County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, who was just named the new board chair of the Metropolitan Transit System.

Fletcher gave us his take on the state of transit in San Diego and talked about the MTS ballot measure coming next year.

“I just think at MTS we can’t delay. We can’t wait,” he said. “We know that there’s things we can do that will have an impact and will be good. And now we have the ability to go forward with them.”

Hear more at the 22-minute mark.

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