A COASTER train in downtown San Diego. Courtesy NCTD

The North County Transit District plans to ask SANDAG this month for funding to buy more COASTER locomotives and cars to double weekday commuter service from Oceanside to downtown San Diego.

The proposal released Thursday calls for increasing COASTER frequencies from 22 to 42 trips during weekdays, with trains arriving every 30 minutes during peak periods and every 60 minutes during non-peak periods.

The expanded service, which would require purchase of two more “trainsets,” is possible because of recent improvements to the tracks along the coastal corridor funded by the TransNet sales tax.

“Taxpayers have invested more than $767 million to improve the railroad tracks and have set aside funds to operate increased COASTER frequencies,” said NCTD Board Chair and Encinitas Councilmember Tony Kranz. “The additional funding needed from SANDAG to invest in these two COASTER trainsets will deliver upon the promise that was made in 2004 when voters approved an extension for TransNet.”

“On behalf of the NCTD Board, I strongly encourage the SANDAG board of directors to allocate the funding required to support increased COASTER frequencies,” Kranz said.

NCTD estimates it can implement the increased service within the next three years if funding is approved by SANDAG.

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Chris Jennewein

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