The Final Tracks

Trolley Low-Floor service launch event.

The Trolley Renewal Project is now in the final phase of a system-wide improvement program. Since the project began in fall 2010, the Green, Orange and Blue Lines have all undergone significant improvements to the stations, amenities, shelters and track. As the construction work continues, there are many communities in the immediate area who depend on updates from the project team to know of any potential traffic closures, night work or detours. Since summer 2012, our team has been helping the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) keep these communities informed.

Trolley Renewal crews have raised platforms throughout most of the system to accommodate new low-floor Trolley cars, which provide easier boarding and access to all riders. These Trolleys have been in operation throughout the entire system since January 2015. Other enhancements underway include, old track and overhead wire replacements, switching, signaling and crossovers improvements, and traction power substation installations. During the peak of construction activity, up to nine stations at a time were under construction, impacting stakeholders across numerous cities including San Diego, National City, Chula Vista, Lemon Grove and La Mesa. Traffic impacts, lane and road closures, night work and associated noise, pedestrian ramp closures and parking lot closures are all impacts that these communities have experienced during construction. To mitigate these effects, we’ve worked closely with the engineering and construction teams to ensure stakeholders are notified with as much advanced warning as possible through advisories, eblasts and doorhangers. We have also participated in weekly meetings at SANDAG’s construction field office to help achieve our goal of anticipating outreach needs before they arise.

In addition to station renovations, power substation replacements and track enhancements, operational improvements were also incorporated through a realignment of the Green Line. The line was extended to the 12th & Imperial Transit Center, replacing the previous Orange Line service. This eliminated the need to transfer at Old Town Transit Center for Downtown San Diego, allowing riders to have a one-seat ride from Santee to Downtown.

Currently, work is concentrated on the Blue Line, the oldest part of the system, which has the highest ridership rates. The San Ysidro Transit Center and Palm Avenue, Iris Avenue and Beyer Boulevard Stations are the last four stations under construction and are anticipated to be complete by summer 2015.

When the renewal is complete, riders will enjoy a faster, more comfortable transit experience. The entire project is expected to be completed in 2015. Future transit programs in the San Diego region include the Mid-Coast Trolley Corridor project which will expand Trolley service from Old Town San Diego to the University City area. The project is expected to break ground in summer 2015.