The 10.92-mile light rail extension, referred to locally as the Mid-Coast Trolley, will serve major activity centers such as Old Town, Mission Bay Park, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center, UC San Diego, and the Westfield UTC shopping center. Officials estimate the project will serve 24,600 transit trips every weekday, with service anticipated to start in 2021.
With the signing of the federal grant agreement, FTA is committing a total of $1.04 billion through its Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Program to the $2.17 billion Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project. In addition to the $100 million that will be awarded with the signing of the grant agreement, the remaining federal funds will be provided over the course of 10 years on an annual payment schedule, subject to Congressional approval during the annual appropriations process.
FTA Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers made the announcement to commit the funds during a ceremony with representatives from SANDAG and the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), which will operate the service once it is built. “FTA is proud to partner with San Diego to bring new transit options to this growing region,” said Flowers. “With the population along the Mid-Coast corridor expected to grow nearly 20% in the coming decades, this trolley extension will offer a much-needed alternative to traffic congestion in the years ahead.”
The CIG Program is the nation’s primary grant program for funding major transit capital investments. Projects accepted into the highly competitive program must go through a multi-year, multi-step process according to requirements in law in order to be eligible for and receive program funds.