What is the Mid-Coast Trolley Extension project?   

The Mid-Coast project extends Blue Line Trolley service from the Santa Fe Depot north to the University Community area, serving major destinations including the VA Medical Center, UC San Diego, and Westfield UTC. 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 comes from TransNet, the region’s voter-approved half-cent sales tax for transportation. Including financing costs, the project budget is $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. The Mid-Coast Extension of the UC San Diego Blue Line Trolley opened for revenue service on November 21, 2021, on time and on budget. Crews are anticipated to complete final construction activities in early 2022. 


Why is the Mid-Coast Trolley Extension needed? 

The Mid-Coast Trolley Extension provides reliable and efficient transit service that connects 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 provides a viable alternative to congested highways in the corridor.


What areas are served by the project?   

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


Where are the new Trolley stations located?   

The project constructed nine new stations, located at Tecolote Road, Clairemont Drive, Balboa Avenue, Nobel Drive, VA Medical Center, UC San Diego west campus, UC San Diego east campus, Executive Drive, and the UTC Transit Center.

 View project map


When will the project be complete?  

The Mid-Coast Extension of the UC San Diego Blue Line Trolley opened for revenue service on November 21, 2021, on time and on budget. SANDAG and MTS hosted a free grand opening celebration, and additional information is available on our Events webpage. Crews are anticipated to complete final construction activities in early 2022.   


How much did the project cost?  

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


Where did 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.  


How can I stay informed of the project's progress

To stay up-to-date on the Mid-Coast Trolley Extension project, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebooksign-up to receive our newsletter, or contact the project team with questions at [email protected] or (877) 379-0110.