Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas with other officials at the opening of the South Bay Rapid line. Photo courtesy of the city of Chula Vista

The Metropolitan Transit System on Tuesday inaugurated a new South Bay Rapid bus line on Tuesday.

The route will begin with limited service during morning and evening commute hours between the East Palomar Transit Station and downtown San Diego until it opens fully next year. The full route will feature a dozen stops across 26 miles with service extending from downtown to the new Otay Mesa Port of Entry.

“We are happy to welcome the South Bay Rapid to Chula Vista,” said Mayor Mary Casillas Salas. “This is the eighth route added to the Rapid system, which helps residents, commuters, students and visitors get where they need to go quickly and easily throughout the San Diego region.”

Salas and MTS board member Mona Rios were joined by county Supervisor Greg Cox and Caltrans District 11 Director Cory Binns at the launch ceremony and celebration.

“The suite of Rapid options has been widely successful. They have quickly become the most popular routes in the system,” Rios said. “South Bay Rapid is an affirmation that a new era of transit is in front of South Bay residents.”

Limited-route service will run weekdays from 5 to 8 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m. with departures every 15 minutes during both windows. MTS is offering free rides on the new route through Friday to encourage riders to use it.

Rapid services feature limited stops and dedicated lanes on certain routes that improve travel times. The Rapid program is funded via TransNet, a voter-approved half-cent tax that funds transportation projects around San Diego.

— City News Service

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