Dedicated bus lanes on El Cajon Boulevard are among the many projects planned. Courtesy MTS

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System released two potential lists of projects that could be funded by a half-cent sales tax measure proposed for the November 2020 ballot.

The two lists offer competing approaches to spending the $24 billion that would be raised over 50 years by the sales tax. They were developed after a series of public meetings and widespread use of a public online planning tool.

“San Diego residents have really stepped up in a big way, providing us with vital information about what they’d like to see for the future of transit in San Diego,” said Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, who chairs the MTS board. “That information is reflected these draft expenditure plan scenarios.”

“We look forward to the public and our board’s continued involvement over the next few months to help us decide on a final plan to put before voters in November 2020,” he added.

The major part of the first scenario is a new trolley line from San Ysidro to Kearny Mesa, accounding for 29% of total funding. The second scenario dispenses with the new line, but dramatically increases bus frequency. Both scenarios include a trolley connection to the airport.

“Participants in the public process made it clear they wanted investments in the transit system that expand and enhance the current system to provide a viable alternative to the car,” said MTS Chief Executive Officer Paul Jablonski. “The scenarios aim to make a quick turnaround on some key improvements, better connect residential communities to job and education centers, and add mobility options in areas traditionally under-served by transit.”

Here are the major projects in the two scenarios:

Scenario 1

  • New Purple Line trolley from San Ysidro to Kearny Mesa
  • I-805 bus transit lanes
  • Airport trolley line
  • Increased trolley frequency
  • Increased bus frequency
  • 10 new Rapid bus routes
  • Skyway from University City trolley to Sorrento Valley
  • Route 52 bus transit lanes
  • Free passes for youth 18 and under

Scenario 2

  • Dramatically increased bus frequency, adding new routes and providing 24-hour service
  • I-805 bus transit lanes
  • Airport trolley line
  • Increased trolley frequency
  • 18 new Rapid bus routes
  • Skyway from University City trolley to Sorrento Valley
  • Route 52 bus transit lanes
  • Route 56 bus transit lanes
  • Free passes for youth 18 and under

MTS will take the draft project lists back out for public comment over the next few months. The agency’s board is expected to make a decision on a final expenditure plan in April 2020.

Show comments

Chris Jennewein

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