Transit Briefs: Metrolink, San Diego MTS

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
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(Photograph Courtesy of Metrolink)

Metrolink proposes a new rail service from Moorpark to Goleta in Santa Barbara’s South County. Also, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) looks at adding a new “Copper Line” to its Trolley system.


South Coast members of the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) met May 8 to “affirm efforts to bring Metrolink’s commuter train service to the county,” according to a KEYT report.

(Metrolink photo)

According to the report, the estimated cost for the first year of operation of the potential morning commuter line starting in Moorpark and ending in Goleta is $4.4 million.

Currently proposed stops for the commuter linen are detailed below.


The SBCAG Board of Directors, according to the KEYT report, “tasked staff to prepare a formal agreement that will be available for acceptance later this summer and would include Metrolink, the Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC) and rail agency LOSSAN.”

If that agreement is approved, the new train service, which will initially be limited to a one-year pilot demonstration with options to extend, could begin as early as October of this year, according to the KEYT report.

The proposal is expected to be funded by SBCAG Measure A South Coast Subprogram, the Ventura County Transportation Commission, and future fare revenues.

“The fact the Santa Barbara County voters overwhelmingly approved $25 million 15 years ago to help make commuter rail a possibility speaks volumes to the long-standing desire and commitment the central coast has to see a viable commuter rail service between the two counties,” said SBCAG Public Information Manager Lauren Bianchi Klemann.

San Diego MTS

The San Diego MTS is “eyeing” a new Trolley alignment for its East County service, according to a FOX 5/KUSI report.

According to the report, the “Copper Line” was recently proposed by MTS to “solve longstanding issues of reliability with the train system, zeroing in on one stretch of track on the outermost edges of its network that the transit agency says has ‘frequently been the source of delays.’”

According to the FOX 5/KUSI report, the issue is between the Gillespie Airport and Santee stops on the Green and Orange lines, where only one track exists for both directions of travel.

The single track, paired with traffic signals, means trains are often waiting for each other to pass, causing holdups for riders, according to the report. To reduce the impact of these delays, MTS says “lines often run a truncated service in the area, making unplanned turn-arounds before reaching Santee.”

The proposed Copper Line, MTS says, “would fix these issues by shuttling passengers between Santee and El Cajon.” Instead, the Orange and Green lines would stop at the El Cajon Transit Center, eliminating the need for those trains to use that stretch of track, according to the report.

According to MTS, the Copper Line “would also allow the Green Line to extend its service hours at night and open up its ability to run past the SDSU Transit Center on Sundays.”

On top of that, MTS officials say the Copper Line “would have an added benefit for Santee drivers: As it would be a one-train connection instead of the typical three cars, the line would ease traffic at the Mission Gorge Road and Cuyamaca Street rail intersections on the route to Santee.”

(San Diego MTS)

According to the FOX 5/KUSI report, the MTS Board of Directors is scheduled to hear a presentation on the adjustment at its June 20 meeting. Public comment will be available during the board’s discussion of the proposal.

MTS is asking for anyone who would like to comment on the proposed change but are unable to attend the June 20 meeting to submit their thoughts online before June 19. MTS officials will also be at transit stations along the route to get in-person comment over the next few weeks.

If approved, service using the Copper Line would start on Sept. 1, running every 15 minutes from 5 a.m. to midnight, according to the report.

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