San Diego Trolley Line from Old Town to UCSD, UTC approved
Commuting sucks. You get off work or out of class rubbing your poor tired eyes from the glare of the computer screen and feeling braindead after hearing three straight hours of your boss’ or professor’s monotone, and all you want to do is go home, plant your rear end on the comfy couch, and stuff some food in your face. But of course, as soon as you get on the freeway, traffic crawls to a standstill and you’re left colorfully cursing the
5, 805, 15…the list goes on. That’s why so many in the San Diego area opt out of driving their cars to work and take the faithful Trolley instead. And for those who live and/or work in Old Town, the UCSD area, or UTC, the option just opened up—the SANDAG board of directors voted for a 1.2 billion dollar extension of the San Diego Trolley North from Old Town to the UCSD campus and University Towne Centre.
While three potential routes were in consideration, only the chosen alternative was considered truly viable due to existing road conditions and population considerations. An eleven minute trip, the new line will make stops at Tecolote Drive, Clairemont Drive, and Balboa Avenue, in addition to Gilman drive, Nobel Drive, and an on-campus stop near UCSD’s Price Center before ending at UTC. The project is due to be completed and the rail line operable in the year 2015, with low-ball estimates predicting about 20,000 riders per day—a number comparable to the Green Line that currently services San Diego State University and the Mission Valley shopping areas.
While the decision was unanimously received with great enthusiasm by speakers present during the voting, several alterations to the plan were proposed. Among them was the idea to add a stop at the VA hospital at the edge of the UCSD campus, a measure that would require a new station to be built and cost an additional 5 million dollars.
For now the next steps of the project are to send an application to the federal government for funds totaling half the project’s cost, 600 million dollars. According to SignonSanDiego, the project will kick off from there, with environmental impact studies to 2011, engineering design by 2013, and completion in 2015.
Photo from prayitno’s via flickr