What is the Mid-Coast Trolley?
The Mid-Coast Trolley 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. It begins just north of the Old Town Transit Center and travels north along the railroad right-of-way and I-5, crosses I-5 from east to west and travels through the heart of the UC San Diego campus, then crosses back over I-5 and travels down the center median of Genesee Avenue on an aerial guideway until finally terminating at the UTC Transit Center.
What is the status of the project?
The Mid-Coast 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 $2.1 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 late 2021.
Why is the Mid-Coast Trolley needed?
The Mid-Coast Trolley 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 will provide a viable alternative to congested highways in the corridor.
What areas will be served by the project?
The Mid-Coast Corridor 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.
What route will the Mid-Coast Trolley take and where will stations be located?
Nine new stations will be constructed at Tecolote Road, Clairemont Drive, Balboa Avenue, Nobel Drive, VA Medical Center, Pepper Canyon (serving UC San Diego west campus), Voigt Drive (serving UC San Diego east campus), Executive Drive, and the terminus station at the UTC transit center.
When will the project be complete?
The current schedule indicates that service will begin in late 2021.
How much will the project cost?
Including financing costs, the project budget is approximately $2.1 billion.
Where will the funding come from?
The Mid-Coast Trolley was included in the voter-approved TransNet measure, the local half-cent sales tax that provides funding for transportation projects. The project is a 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.
How can I stay informed of the project's progress and key milestones?