Map shows route of South Bay Rapid project.
Map shows route of South Bay Rapid project.

A groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday marked the beginning of construction on the South Bay Rapid project, a $113 million, 21-mile bus route connecting residents to regional employment and activity centers between the Otay Mesa Port of Entry and downtown San Diego.

“This investment in our South County communities is incredibly important,” Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas said. “South Bay Rapid will not only connect eastern Chula Vista with downtown San Diego, it will help manage traffic and help us achieve our climate action goals.”

The route is a joint project of the San Diego Association of Governments, the Metropolitan Transit System and Caltrans.

“South Bay Rapid is an important part of the SANDAG Regional Transportation Plan, and will provide an innovative mobility choice to areas not currently served by mass transit,” said SANDAG Chairman Ron Roberts, the county supervisor.

Among other things, the project will include construction of seven bus stations and a transportation center near the Otay Mesa border crossing.

Funding is coming from the Federal Transit Administration, Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program, Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program, the city of Chula Vista, the Otay Water District, and TransNet — the regional half-cent sales tax for transportation.

South Bay Rapid service is expected to begin in two years and will be operated by MTS.

–City News Service