What is the Mid-Coast Trolley Extension?  

The Mid-Coast project will extend Blue Line Trolley service from the Old Town Transit Center north to the University Community area, serving major destinations including the VA Medical Center, UC San Diego, and University Towne Centre. It is an 11-mile extension to the existing San Diego Trolley system. The Trolley extension begins just north of the Old Town Transit Center, travels along the railroad right-of-way and I-5, then crosses I-5 from east to west to travel through the heart of the UC San Diego campus, and then crosses back over I-5 to travel along the center median of Genesee Avenue until terminating at the UTC Transit Center.  


What is the status of the project? 

The Mid-Coast Extension of the UC San Diego Blue Line Trolley received its final environmental approval from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the SANDAG Board of Directors in fall 2014. In September 2016, the FTA signed a Full Funding Grant Agreement with SANDAG to provide the 50 percent federal funding match needed to begin construction in fall 2016. The rest of the funding is coming from TransNet, the region’s voter-approved half-cent sales tax for transportation. Including financing costs, the project will cost $2.17 billion.  

Pre-construction activities – consisting of the relocation of utilities out of the project alignment – began in early 2016, and primary construction activities began in October 2016. Construction reached its halfway point in spring 2019 and remains on schedule. Service is anticipated to begin in November 2021. 


Why is the Mid-Coast Trolley Extension needed? 

The Mid-Coast Trolley Extension is needed to provide reliable and efficient transit service that will connect corridor residents, businesses, employees, and students with other destinations and activity centers in the region. Projected travel growth in the Mid-Coast Corridor is expected to increase congestion and delays on already crowded highways. The Mid-Coast Trolley Extension will provide a viable alternative to congested highways in the corridor.  


What areas will be served by the project?  

The Mid-Coast Trolley Extension stretches from Downtown San Diego north to the University Community area. It will connect residents, businesses, employees, and students in Downtown San Diego, Little Italy, Middletown, Old Town, Midway, Linda Vista, Bay Park, Clairemont, the beach communities, UC San Diego, and University Community with destinations and activity centers in Downtown San Diego, Mission Valley, East County, and South County.  


Where will the new Trolley stations be located?  

Nine new stations will be constructed at Tecolote Road, Clairemont Drive, Balboa Avenue, Nobel Drive, VA Medical Center, UC San Diego Central Campus, UC San Diego Health La Jolla, Executive Drive, and the UTC transit center. View Mid-Coast Map


When will the project be complete?  

The project remains on schedule, and Trolley service is anticipated to begin in November 2021.  


How much will the project cost?  

Including financing costs, the project budget is approximately $2.17 billion.  


Where will the funding come from?  

The Mid-Coast Trolley Extension was included in the voter-approved TransNet measure, the local half-cent sales tax that provides funding for transportation projects. The project is part of the TransNet Early Action Program, meaning that it is one of the highest priority transportation projects in the region. TransNet will provide a 50 percent local match to Federal Transit Administration New Starts funding to complete the project. TransNet will also provide operating funds for the project through 2048.  


Will there be a Mid-Coast Trolley Extension Grand Opening event? 

Yes! SANDAG and MTS will host a FREE grand opening celebration for the Mid-Coast Extension of the UC San Diego Blue Line Trolley on Sunday, November 21, 2021. Please visit our Events webpage for more information. 

How can I stay informed of the project's progress and key milestones

To stay up-to-date on the Mid-Coast Trolley project, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebooksign-up to receive our newsletter, or contact the project team with questions at midcoast@sandag.org or (877) 379-0110.