MTS Receives $33.5 Million in State Grant Funding to Advance Major Capital Initiatives

San Diego – The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) has been awarded critical funding to continue advancing its transition to a zero-emission fleet by 2040, and major improvement projects for the system. The California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) has announced the award of $33.5 million to MTS through its competitive grant, the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP). This TIRCP funding will advance key agency objectives including expansion of the busiest transit center in Downtown, improvements to Trolley stations along the Orange Line, and implementation of its Zero Emission Bus Transition Plan.

“We are very excited and grateful to our state officials for investing in San Diego’s transit future and our communities,” said Sharon Cooney, MTS chief executive officer. “The money from this grant will allow us to continue to modernize our system, rehabilitate and replace aging infrastructures, enhance safety for our riders, and increase ridership.”

The MTS improvement projects funded by the TIRCP grant include: 

  • Electrification of MTS Imperial Avenue Division which requires charging infrastructure for full transition to a zero-emission fleet by 2040.
  • The Orange Line Improvement project, which includes widespread enhancements along the corridor with station passenger information sign upgrades.
  • The 12th and Imperial Transit Center Expansion project, which includes components of a Mobility Hub and expansion of the transit center’s foot-print for increased capacity.

TIRCP is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities.

In October 2020, MTS adopted a transition plan to convert its entire bus fleet to zero emissions by 2040 and has already started to implement important projects to achieve the ambitious goal.  Earlier this year, MTS broke ground on the largest overhead charging bus system in the state at its South Bay Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility in Chula Vista. This bus division will begin to serve the new Rapid Iris route in the South Bay early next year. 

MTS operates more than 100 bus routes and three Trolley lines in 10 cities and unincorporated areas of San Diego. Frequencies and spans have been restored to near-pre-COVID-19 levels. Updated schedules can be accessed on the MTS website.