MTS Receives Largest Competitive State Grant Allocation in Agency History

MTS will receive $60 million to advance agency’s top priorities, including bus fleet electrification

San Diego – Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced more than $690 million in funding for public transit agencies across the state. As part of the 2023 award summary, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) received its largest ever Transit and Intercity Capital Rail Program (TIRCP) grant, totaling just over $60 million. The California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) TIRCP funding will help advance the agency’s bus fleet electrification, as well as maintain a state-of-good-repair on the Trolley’s Orange Line.

“The substantial investment by the state into the MTS system is encouraging as we look to continue growing ridership and advance our region’s priorities, including transitioning to a zero-emissions bus fleet,” said Stephen Whitburn, Acting MTS Board Chair and San Diego City Councilmember, District 3. “Building and maintaining MTS infrastructure is vital to our mission of providing safe and reliable service for riders in the years ahead.”

The MTS improvement projects funded by the TIRCP grant include: 

  • Electrification of MTS Kearny Mesa Division ($12.1 million): Construction of a new overhead charging system for 30 zero-emission buses, which will be required for a full transition to a zero-emission fleet by 2040.
  • Orange Line Track Improvements ($48.3 million): Continue enhancing the 18 miles of track along the Orange Line Trolley, including grade crossing safety, signal interfaces and more.  

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.

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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