MTS Board Approves $174 Million Capital Improvement Program; New Board Chair Remains Undecided

  • MTS Board Acting Chair Stephen Whitburn will continue serving in the interim as none of the nominees for the post received two-thirds of votes
  • Exclusive negotiating agreement also approved to redevelop land for up to 500 affordable and market-rate housing units in downtown San Diego

San Diego, CA – The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) Board of Directors yesterday unanimously approved a $174 million capital improvement program for FY 2024, and an exclusive negotiating agreement with the San Diego Foundation to assist with redeveloping a land parcel adjacent to the 12th & Imperial Transit Center for up to 47 floors of housing. 

Additionally, none of the nominees to serve as MTS’s Board Chair received the required two-thirds vote to take over the position vacated by Nathan Fletcher last month. San Diego City Councilmember Stephen Whitburn will continue to serve as MTS’s acting Chair until the Board takes up the item again. This is anticipated to take place at the next Board meeting on May 18.

“Two priority issues for MTS are creating more housing that promotes transit use and keeping the transit system in a solid state of good repair for our riders,” said Stephen Whitburn, MTS Acting Chair, and District 3 San Diego City Councilmember. “It was a good day for MTS on both of these fronts. The $174 million Capital Improvement Program addresses some major capital priorities, and the agreement with the San Diego Foundation is a great step to potentially create hundreds of new affordable units in downtown San Diego.”

For the agency’s $174 million FY 2024 Capital Improvement Program, bus and Trolley vehicle replacement will use up 48% of the funding, followed by facility and construction, rail infrastructure improvements, and other major initiatives. Top funding allocations include:

  • $60 million – 63 new buses including battery-electric, compressed natural gas, and propane powered buses
  • $36.8 million – Clean Transit Advancement Campus project (future all-electric bus division)
  • $22 million – New Trolley vehicles. There are 47 Trolleys that need to be replaced by 2025. Funding will be added to the $167.9 million previously funded to replace aging vehicles in the fleet
  • $10.1 million - Imperial Avenue Division overhead charging infrastructure

The exclusive negotiating agreement with the San Diego Foundation will allow the agencies to negotiate terms of a potential development or collaboration agreement for a competitive solicitation for the property adjacent to the 12th & Imperial Transit Center in downtown San Diego. MTS estimates a redevelopment on this 2.5-arce site can manage up to 500 affordable and market-rate housing units. To help fund housing developments like this, the Foundation recently established a new Housing Impact Fund (the Fund), which aims to raise $400 million for development and preservation of affordable and workforce housing. As part of this new program, the Foundation is seeking opportunities to collaborate with government agencies and others to support these goals. MTS has made significant progress redeveloping its park and ride lots into affordable housing in recent years. Other properties MTS is in the process of redeveloping or actively looking to redevelop include:

  • Grantville Trolley Station- 374 units
  • Palm Avenue Trolley Station – 390 units
  • Rancho Bernardo Transit Center – 100 estimated units
  • Beyer Blvd Transit Center – 100 estimated units
  • El Cajon Transit Center – 400 estimated units
  • E Street Transit Center – 170-390 estimated units

A full inventory of properties can be accessed on the MTS Real Estate webpage here.

About MTS

The Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) operates more than 100 bus routes and three Trolley lines in 10 cities and unincorporated areas of San Diego. MTS is a leader in advancing initiatives to create a greener, cleaner and better-connected transit system in San Diego. Each weekday more than 220,000 passenger trips are taken throughout the MTS system taking people to work, school, health appointments and other essential trips. In FY 2022, MTS served more than 57 million riders. For service schedule updates, news, alerts and more information on how you can use public transportation, go to


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