MTS Awarded $41 million from State for Zero-Emissions Buses, Trolley Improvements

San Diego – The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System announced today that it has been awarded $40.9 million from the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP). TIRCP funding is provided through Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) and from the proceeds of the Cap and Trade program which will help modernize the MTS system, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve safety.

“This is a highly competitive grant program. This grant funding will help our efforts to maintain a solid state-of-good repair and introduce zero-emissions buses to the market,” said MTS Chief Executive Officer Paul Jablonski. “It will also help us expand the Rapid bus network in the South Bay. Rapid has been very popular with our riders and we look forward to adding more service to a growing part of the region.”

The grant funding will be used for a mix of bus and light rail improvements, including funding to purchase 11 new zero-emissions buses and operating Rapid 925 – a new high-frequency, limited-stop bus service between Imperial Beach and the Otay Mesa Transit Center.   A full project list and descriptions is as follow:

Purchase of 11 Zero-Emissions Buses for Rapid 925 ($15.7M) – Funding will be used to purchase 11 zero-emission articulated buses to operate service on the newly proposed Rapid 925 route. Rapid 925 will be a 25.3 miles round trip between the Otay Mesa Transit Center and Imperial Beach, providing a direct connection to the UC San Diego Blue Line. Operation of Rapid 925 would be funded by MTS through another SB 1 grant program.

Rapid 925 Stop Improvements Design/Construction ($2M) - Funding will go towards improving the existing stops along the new Rapid 925 to the standard of stops in the existing MTS Rapid network. Improvements include lighted shelters with seating, electronic signage with real-time arrival information, as well as curb pop-outs to provide more room for waiting and boarding passengers at some locations.

America Plaza Pedestrian Enhancements Design/Construction ($3.7M) – With Amtrak, COASTER, Trolley, and Rapid buses all providing service at the west end of Broadway in downtown San Diego, there’s a growing need for pedestrian enhancements at this junction. Funding will be used for concept, design and construction of new pedestrian enhancements between Santa Fe Depot and America Plaza on Kettner Blvd.

Old Town Transit Center West Enhancements Construction ($2.4M) – Funding will be used to reconstruct the Old Town Transit Center to better accommodate the growing demand of bus service. This includes four additional bus bays, a new bus island and a new curbside location along Pacific Highway.

Green Line IMT Double Tracking Design/Construction ($7M) – Funding will be used to double-track the Green Line at the 12th & Imperial Transit Center. The construction of a new track segment and double crossover at this transit center will provide greater operational flexibility, better connections, and allow for more trains to operate during special events such as Comic-Con.

America Plaza Track Replacement Design/Construction ($1.1M) – Funding will be used to replace the worn rail at America Plaza and the adjacent grade crossings located at Kettner Boulevard and India Street.

Beech Street Double Crossover Design/Construction ($4M) – Funding will help MTS upgrade the rail infrastructure, such as switches, signaling and fiber networks along the Green Line in downtown San Diego. The improvements will increase operating flexibility, reduce service disruptions, and increase work windows for ongoing maintenance

Middletown Double Crossover Construction ($5M) - Funding will help MTS improve the track alignments and overhead catenary wire between Santa Fe Depot and the Old Town Transit Center.  

TIRCP was created by Senate Bill (SB) 862 (Chapter 36, Statutes of 2014) and modified by Senate Bill 9 (Chapter 710, Statutes of 2015) to provide grants from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to fund transformative capital improvements that will modernize California’s intercity, commuter, and urban rail systems, and bus and ferry transit systems to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by reducing congestion and vehicle miles traveled throughout California.  The goal of the TIRCP is to provide monies to fund transformative capital improvements that modernize California’s intercity rail, bus, ferry and rail transit systems  

MTS operates 95 bus routes and three Trolley lines on 53 miles of double-tracked railway. Every weekday more than 300,000 passenger trips are taken on MTS bus and Trolley services in 10 cities and the county. In FY 2017, MTS served more than 88 million riders.

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