Tuesday, August 14, 2012

San Diego revamping trolley routes

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San Diego's Metropolitan Transit System next month will alter its operations pattern for the San Diego Trolley, aiming to eliminate some transfers and improve travel times.

Local media report the Green Line, currently linking Santee Town Center to the Old Town Transit Center, will begin running on Sept. 2 from Santee, through downtown San Diego, and terminate at the 12th and Imperial station, near the convention center and Petco Park.

Changes also will be implemented on the Blue and Orange lines, with one objective being to spread low-floor light rail transit equipment systemwide. MTS is rebuilding its Blue and Orange line stations and station platforms to accommodate low-floor LRT gear, along with electronic signage with real-time alerts.

MTS plans to add about $3 million in bus service, including more service on Sundays and increased frequency and longer operating hours on many of its routes. Bus timetables will be adjusted to reflect the changes in trolley service.

"In effect, this change impacts 95% of our riders one way or another," MTS spokesman Rob Schupp said.

The changes primarily involve existing rights-of-way, Schupp noted, explaining, "We're adding lots of crossovers and new switches and all kinds of stuff to make it work, but no major extension of the trolley."

The San Diego Trolley debuted in 1981 as the first modern U.S. light rail transit line built in the post-World War II period, and the third such in North America, following LRT introductions in Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta.