Friday, May 23, 2008

Rail Transit Highlight: San Diego

The San Diego Trolley is a trolley-style light rail system operating in the metropolitan area of San Diego, California. The operator, San Diego Trolley, Inc. (SDTI) is a subsidiary of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS). The Trolley began service on July 26, 1981, making it the first modern light-rail system in California and operates three different lines designated by the colors Blue, Orange and Green. The San Diego Trolley is currently the fourth most-ridden light rail system in the United States, with 118,000 daily riders.

The San Diego Trolley recently added the Green Line which connected Old Town San Diego with the communities of Santee and others in Mission Valley. The Green Line also provided a pivotal connection to San Diego State University. This extenion for the Trolley grew the system to 53 stations throughout Southern California with a total track length of 51.1 miles. The San Diego Trolley also operates a special event service between Qualcomm Statdium and Petco Park for higher capacity.

The San Diego Trolley offers fares between $1.25 and $3.00 one way depending on the length of trip. Monthly passes are available for $90 and can be used on all MTS operated vehicles along with North County Transit District Light Rail, Buses and Commuter Rail.

Currently, the only expansion of service that is being planned is the Mid Coast Trolley would add service from Old Town Station to the University City community using existing right of ways. This will connect the system to the other major university in the area, University of California, San Diego along with University Towne Shopping Center. Currently, a cost of $1.2 billion is calculated for the 11 mile extension.

Outside the city of San Diego, you can take the COASTER Commuter Rail to the Oceanside in the North. This 41 mile Commuter Rail Line also connects to MetroLink Commuter Rail Lines that lead into Los Angeles. With the COASTER, you will also be able to travel by the newly opened SPRINTER Light Rail Line that travels from Oceanside to Escondido.

If you are interested in the Rail Transit that is available in San Diego County, check out my Google Maps Hack that shows the transit options that are available. You can view the map here. Please note that I do not include the MetroLink Commuter Rail lines that serve San Diego County as their coverage within the county is limited to only Oceanside.

I hope you enjoy and please add any additional information to the comments.

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