14 Aug Trolley Renewal Project Update
In service since 1981, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System’s (MTS) Trolley system operates on more than 100 miles of track, transports tens of thousands of passengers each day and maintains 53 stations throughout San Diego County. Now, 30 years after the inaugural Trolley ride, MTS and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) are overhauling the system to accommodate new low-floor Trolley cars through the Trolley Renewal Project. This includes upgrades to the track, raised station platforms, improved switching, signaling and crossovers, and new signage and shelters for Trolley riders.
Katz & Associates has provided outreach services to the Trolley Renewal Project since June 2012. This includes coordinating door-to-door outreach and responding to stakeholder inquiries regarding station construction, which at times included full closures of Trolley stations. To provide community outreach services for the Trolley Renewal Project, K&A has worked closely with the construction and project management team to ensure stakeholders were kept informed of progress on construction on the Green Line (stations throughout Downtown San Diego) and the Orange Line (stations throughout La Mesa and Lemon Grove). Outreach methods included development of station-specific construction advisories, development of content for a project website, presentations to community groups and one-on-one stakeholder briefings.
In August 2013, renewal work will begin on the Blue Line, beginning at the Barrio Logan Station down to the San Ysidro Station, near the U.S.-Mexico border. To minimize any impacts to nearby residents and stakeholders, the majority of work will take place during the day. Most stakeholders located near the Blue Line stations are residential, compared to the stakeholders typically located near the Green Line stations, which include mostly businesses and office buildings, so avoiding night work is paramount.
Improvements to the stations will also include accommodating the use of new vehicles. The new low-floor cars will replace the older vehicles and will allow passengers, including those using strollers, wheelchairs or bicycles to get on and off the Trolley more easily. The new cars will also reduce the system’s overall travel time and are currently operating through the Green and Orange Lines which have already been renewed.
The $730 million Trolley Renewal Project is funded primarily by California Proposition 1B funds and TransNet, the regional half-cent sales tax for transportation projects. The Trolley Renewal Project is scheduled to be complete by 2015.