NCTD Secures $7MM for Sprinter Improvements

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
Photo: Xnatedawgx via Wikipedia

Photo: Xnatedawgx via Wikipedia

The North County Transit District (NCTD) on Dec. 23 announced the appropriation of $7 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Community Project Funding for its Sprinter Corridor Service Improvement Project.

According to the agency, the funding will allow NCTD to “further the modernization of signals on the Sprinter corridor,” an initial phase of the multi-year Corridor Service Improvement Project, which seeks to increase the speed and frequency of Sprinter service with an ultimate objective of reducing the time between departures from every 30 minutes to every 15 minutes.

According to NCTD, the $7 million was requested by Congressman Mike Levin (CA-49) in the FY 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which was signed into law by President Biden on Dec. 23 and sets federal funding levels for the fiscal year ending on Sept. 30, 2023.

The Sprinter Corridor Service Improvement Project, NCTD says, will be advanced in two phases to support increased Sprinter speed and frequency. NCTD will first modernize the signal and communications systems along the Sprinter corridor to improve safety, enhance community connectivity and reduce service disruptions.

“This project directly supports local, regional and statewide plans to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and vehicle miles traveled,” NCTD said. Increasing SPRINTER service frequencies “will generate a viable mobility alternative to using personal vehicles, which will reduce vehicle usage and improve air quality. The project will improve the quality of life for residents and visitors along the Sprinter corridor and enhance mobility for underserved communities.”

According to the agency, Sprinter serves as “the backbone of NCTD’s transit system,” linking riders to the BREEZE bus service and COASTER commuter rail. The Sprinter Corridor Service Improvement Project will be executed in coordination with NCTD’s plans to transition to zero-emission rail operations and increase micro-transit options to provide efficient first and last mile connections. NCTD says it is also in the process of advancing transit-oriented commercial and residential development at seven stations on the Sprinter corridor.

“The Sprinter Corridor Service Improvement Project will transform North County’s east-west rail corridor by increasing the speed, frequency, and reliability of the Sprinter,” said NCTD Executive Director Matthew O. Tucker. “This funding to modernize train signals is a first step toward achieving 15-minute frequencies and reducing local traffic.”

“The Sprinter corridor through North County San Diego is a vital regional transportation link, and I’m excited to announce that I have secured $7 million in federal funding for the North County Transit District to help improve service along this corridor,” said Rep. Levin. “This funding will support upgrades to the Sprinter’s signal system, helping increase service frequency, improve safety, and better connect our communities. I look forward to seeing this funding improve this corridor and will continue my efforts to bring more federal funding home to modernize our transportation infrastructure and foster economic prosperity.”

“Congressman Levin has been a champion for transit in our region,” added NCTD Board of Directors Chair Jewel Edson. “We appreciate his efforts in securing this needed funding.”

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