While the majority of MTS Trolley ridership comes from day-to-day passenger trips, special events also play an important role in our system. On a yearly basis, MTS special event ridership accounts for approximately 800,000 system trips, or about two percent of Trolley ridership.
In 2018, more than 280,000 of those special event trips came from Padres games.
Did you know...?
- There were 282,080 trips for 2018 Padres Season
- 1,424 Day Passes were Sold at MTS Special Event Ticket Booths for the 2018 Padres Season
- 110 Ambassador Hours are typically logged during Opening Weekend
At MTS, prepping for baseball season is a team sport to provide fans with the best possible passenger experience when riding our system. Leading the charge is Tom Doogan, Special Events Coordinator. Tom and his team begin planning for the 81 Padres home games about six weeks prior to Opening Day, which is Thursday, March 28 this year.
While Tom offensively strategizes for challenges as much as possible, Padres season also keeps the MTS operations team on its toes. Variables like extra innings, weather and changing pace-of-play can’t be planned in advance.
“Last year, the Padres had a game on August 28 that lasted a mere 2 hours and 13 minutes. Exactly one month later on September 28, they had a game that lasted more than 5 hours,” Tom recalled. “Needless to say, there were some significant adjustments made on the fly to accommodate post-game crowds. Operations staff have to use a lot of judgement night-after-night to ensure we don’t leave fans stranded.”
Excellence in operations and providing accurate information that keeps riders informed is especially important since many Padres fans are not the common rider, noted Train Operator Pete Alvarez. Alvarez, who has been an operator for 13 years, said, “Fans rely on our quick, fast service. I look forward to seeing new faces, and they [baseball fans] are an upbeat crowd that help make the job enjoyable.”
Joe Martinez, Revenue Supervisor, is responsible for staffing key Trolley stations to help provide customer information and fare media sales. “Special Events Assistants are the face of MTS and represent the organization in a friendly, reliable and courteous manner, said Joe. “Some of the Padres season ticket holders are on a first name basis with our staff, which is pretty cool to see.”
One of those special events staff is Julie Bolton, who has been an MTS Ambassador for 20 years. As a frequent traveler herself, Julie knows the importance of great customer service. “Our customers are so grateful for the assistance and a real person to help them with machines, directions, etc. There is no substitute for great customer service.” In addition to the excitement around Opening Week, Julie most looks forward to seeing the diehard fans show up year-after-year is amazing, the days when Little League kids attend games and ride the Trolley to Petco, as well as the Military Appreciation Days.
With the Padres announcing the largest baseball signing in MLB history earlier this year, it’s sure to be an exciting season at Petco Park, and MTS will be ready to provide a great travel experience for fans all season long.