Rendering shows the extension of the San Diego Trolley Blue Line in University City. Courtesy SANDAG

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that its budget proposal for the next federal fiscal year includes the first $150 million installment of a $1 billion commitment for the extension of the San Diego trolley from Old Town to University City.

The federal funding would account for about half of the project’s $2 billion total cost. The rest would come from the TransNet sales tax and bond proceeds.

The federal department is proposing funding for 25 major transit projects across the country, several of which are in California.

“President Obama has laid out a bold vision for investing in 21st century transportation infrastructure that provides millions of Americans improved access to employment, education and other vital services, while also supporting the nation’s growing economy,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We are committed to ensuring that every American has access to the ladders of opportunity that lead to success — and public transportation is essential to making that happen.”

The trolley extension will run 10.9 miles and include nine stops, including the Veterans Administration medical center, UC San Diego and the Westfield UTC shopping mall. Construction planning is underway, and passenger service along the route is expected to begin in May 2019.

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.