Nathan Fletcher speaks as trolley is unveiled
MTS Board Chair Nathan Fletcher speaks after the new trolley is unveiled. Courtesy MTS

The last of 45 new trolley cars for the Blue Line extension to University City has arrived in San Diego as the $2.1 billion project by the Metropolitan Transit System nears completion.

“This is an exciting time at MTS. With the Mid-Coast Trolley fleet now complete, it signifies that we are nearing the end of construction for the Mid-Coast Trolley project — one of the largest infrastructure developments in San Diego’s history,” said Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, who chairs the MTS board.

The 11-mile extension from Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego to UC San Diego and University Town Center is expected to open to transit riders in late 2021. There will be nine new stations along the route.

Hilary Norton, chair of the California Transportation Commission, said the project is an “important example” of how transportation grants “enhance mobility, create jobs, increase accessibility, and improve safety.”

The new S700 light rail vehicle built by Siemens Mobility in Sacramento was unveiled at a ceremony Friday that honored late MTS Chief Executive Officer Paul Jablonski. During Jablonski’s 16-year tenure at MTS, he helped secure a full funding for the project.

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