Blue Line (San Diego Trolley)

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San Diego Trolley Blue Line.svg Blue Line
Sandiegotrolley.jpg
Blue Line train at Trolley at the US-Mexico Border
Overview
Type Light rail
System San Diego Trolley
Status Currently Running,
Undergoing Renovations,
No stations closed.
Locale San Diego, California
Termini America Plaza
San Ysidro Transit Center
Stations 18[1]
Website SDMTS - Trolley Information
Operation
Opening July 19, 1981; 33 years ago (1981-07-19)[2]
Owner Metropolitan Transit System
Operator(s) San Diego Trolley, Inc.
Rolling stock

Triple Car U2 or SD-100 Trains

* Train configurations may vary based on system volume.
Technical
Line length 15.4 mi (24.8 km)[1]
No. of tracks 2 Tracks
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
(standard gauge)
Electrification 600 V DC Overhead lines
Operating speed

Max. 55 mph (89 km/h)

Average 50 mph (80 km/h)
Route map

The Blue Line is a 15.4-mile (24.8 km) light rail line in the San Diego Trolley system, operated by San Diego Trolley, Inc. an operating division of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System.[1] It currently operates between Downtown San Diego and San Ysidro on the border with Mexico.[3]

The line is one of four lines in the trolley system, the others include the Green, Orange, and Silver lines.[1][4]

History[edit]

The initial line in the San Diego Trolley system, the Blue Line first opened between Centre City San Diego and San Ysidro on July 26, 1981,[2][5] at a spartan cost of $86 million, using the existing tracks of the San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway. In 1986, the line was named the South Line to differentiate it from the new East Line to Euclid Avenue. On July 2, 1992, the line was extended north from downtown with the opening of the County Center/Little Italy stop.[5] It was renamed the North-South Line when the Old Town extension opened on June 16, 1996.[5] The North-South Line was renamed the Blue Line in 1997,[2] with the opening of the extension to Mission San Diego on November 23, 1997.[5]

When the Green Line was brought into service in 2005, the Blue Line was cut back to the Old Town Transit Center. At rush hours, however, some Blue Line trains continued onto Qualcomm Stadium; and from Qualcomm Stadium onto San Ysidro. On September 3, 2006, the rush hour service Blue line trains were discontinued entirely, due to duplication of service with Green Line service. All Blue Line trains then terminated at Old Town. Rush hour Blue Line trains operated from San Ysidro to America Plaza with some serving the Bayside.

Blue Line service also experienced some change in the stations served. The San Diego Square station located between 7th and 8th Avenues in Downtown closed in 1986 due to low ridership and its close proximity to Fifth Avenue station. Later that year, the Bayfront/E Street station in Chula Vista opened in October 1986,[5] about five years after service already operated along the tracks served. At the same time, the Centre City station on C Street, between Sixth Avenue and Fifth Avenue, was renamed the Fifth Avenue station. The Fenton Parkway stop was an 'infill' station that opened in 2000; however, it is now only served by the Green Line.

2012 realignment[edit]

During a system redesign which took effect on September 2, 2012, Blue Line service between America Plaza and Old Town was discontinued, making America Plaza the Blue Line's current northern terminus.[6] Blue Line trains travel between America Plaza to San Ysidro on a regular 15 minute frequency, with a 7 1/2 minute frequency during weekday rush hours.[6][7] Blue Line service to Old Town will be reinstated once the Mid-Coast trolley extension to University City is completed.[8]

Stops along the Blue Line[edit]

Blue Line
(San Ysidro–Downtown–America Plaza)
Station Name Connections Bus Train Parking Info Notes
America Plaza Orange Line Orange Line
Silver Line Silver Line
MTS Bus icon.svg Serves One America Plaza.
Directly adjacent to Santa Fe Depot – so is an "indirect" transfer point for the Green Line.
This was an infill station – added upon competition of the One America Plaza building in 1991.
Terminus for Blue Line.
Civic Center Orange Line Orange Line
Silver Line Silver Line
MTS Bus icon.svg Serves City Hall, Courthouse, and Horton Plaza.
Fifth Avenue Orange Line Orange Line
Silver Line Silver Line
MTS Bus icon.svg Serves Downtown San Diego.
City College Orange Line Orange Line
Silver Line Silver Line
MTS Bus icon.svg Serves San Diego City College, San Diego High School.
Park & Market Orange Line Orange Line
Silver Line Silver Line
MTS Bus icon.svg
12th & Imperial Transit Center Green Line Green Line
Orange Line Orange Line
Silver Line Silver Line
MTS Bus icon.svg MTS Info icon.svg Serves Petco Park.
Universal transfer station for all lines.
Terminus for Green and Silver Lines.
Barrio Logan Serves Chicano Park.
Harborside
Pacific Fleet Serves Naval Base San Diego.
8th Street MTS Bus icon.svg Zeichen 314.svg
24th Street MTS Bus icon.svg Zeichen 314.svg
Bayfront/E Street MTS Bus icon.svg Zeichen 314.svg MTS Info icon.svg This was an infill station (it was added 5 years after the line's opening) – the first infill station on the Blue Line.
H Street MTS Bus icon.svg Zeichen 314.svg
Palomar Street MTS Bus icon.svg Zeichen 314.svg
Palm Avenue MTS Bus icon.svg Zeichen 314.svg
Iris Avenue MTS Bus icon.svg Zeichen 314.svg
Beyer Boulevard MTS Bus icon.svg Zeichen 314.svg
San Ysidro Transit Center MTS Bus icon.svg Serves U.S.-Mexico International Border.
Terminus for Blue Line.

Future Service Plans[edit]

Trolley Renewal Project[edit]

To accommodate the new Siemens S70 models and allow for their use on the line, the current Blue Line stations will need to undergo renovation, although this will be done over a period of time to prevent the disruption of operation.[9] The New LRVs are scheduled to begin operation on the Blue Line later in 2015. As of August 2014, the Barrio Logan, Harborside, and Pacific Fleet stations have been fully renovated and restored to service. Additional details and construction updates can be found at the MTS Trolley Renewal page.[10] Current construction on the Blue Line for the Trolley Renewal Project includes:

  • 8th Street, 24th Street, and Bayfront / E Street stations – Stations undergoing construction from January thru September 2014 for the Trolley Renewal Project.[10] These stations will remain open, although during construction riders may be asked to use temporary platforms located just south of the existing station platforms that are undergoing renovation. In addition, parking will be impacted by construction at the 8th Street and 24th Street stations.
  • H Street and Palomar Street stations – Stations undergoing construction thru fall 2014 for the Trolley Renewal Project.[10] These stations will remain open, although during construction riders may be asked to use temporary platforms located just south of the existing station platforms that are undergoing renovation.
    This is the opening construction for the last phase of the Trolley Renewal Project: the renovation of all of the remaining stations on the Blue Line thru its San Ysidro terminus.

Mid-Coast Trolley extension project[edit]

The next major Trolley extension would be to expand the Blue Line north to La Jolla Village, UCSD and University Towne Centre (UTC).[11][12] MTS estimates construction will begin in 2015 and the extension will be completed and ready for service in 2018.[8] One aim of the extension is to ease parking on the UCSD campus while providing direct trolley access to UTC, a popular shopping mall. The already existing "SuperLoop" BRT Shuttle (Routes 201/202) will provide rapid transit in and around the UTC area from the nearby Trolley stations.[13]

Future extension alignment & stations[edit]

The following table lists the stations associated with the Mid-Coast Trolley extension project, and presumes another Trolley system realignment upon the starting operation of this Blue Line extension.

Station Name Connections Bus Train Parking Info Notes
University Towne Center
(Future Transit Center)
MTS Bus icon.svg Zeichen 314.svg Will serve Westfield UTC
and Costa Verde Shopping Center.
New terminus for Blue Line.
Executive Drive
(Future Station)
MTS Bus icon.svg
UCSD East/Voigt Drive
(Future Station)
Will serve University of California, San Diego
and Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.
UCSD West/Pepper Canyon
(Future Station)
MTS Bus icon.svg Will serve University of California, San Diego.
VA Medical Center
(Future Station)
Will serve VA Medical Center (VAMC) of San Diego.
Nobel Drive
(Future Station)
MTS Bus icon.svg Zeichen 314.svg Will serve La Jolla Village Square
and The Shops at La Jolla.
Balboa Avenue
(Future Station)
MTS Bus icon.svg Zeichen 314.svg
Clairemont Drive
(Future Station)
Zeichen 314.svg Will serve Mission Bay.
Tecolote Road
(Future Station)
Zeichen 314.svg Will serve SeaWorld.
Old Town Transit Center Green Line Green Line MTS Bus icon.svg Coaster icon.svg Zeichen 314.svg MTS Info icon.svg Serves Old Town Historic Park.
Transfer point for the Coaster and the Surfliner.
Washington Street Green Line Green Line MTS Bus icon.svg
Middletown
Green Line Green Line
County Center/Little Italy Green Line Green Line Serves San Diego County Administration Center.
Santa Fe Depot
Green Line Green Line Coaster icon.svg MTS Info icon.svg Directly adjacent to America Plaza – so is an "indirect" transfer point for Orange and Silver Lines.
Transfer point for the Coaster and the Surfliner.
America Plaza Orange Line Orange Line
Silver Line Silver Line
MTS Bus icon.svg Serves One America Plaza.
Directly adjacent to Santa Fe Depot – so is an "indirect" transfer point for the Green Line.
New terminus for Orange Line.
Continues on existing route

Photo Gallery[edit]

Riders about to board Blue Line train at San Diego Old Town Transit Center. March 2008. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "San Diego Trolley, Inc." (pdf). San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (via: http://www.sdmts.com/MTS/About_MTS.asp). February 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  2. ^ a b c "MTS Historical Timeline". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  3. ^ "SDMTS - Trolley Information". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  4. ^ "San Diego Trolley Fact Sheet" (pdf). San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (via: http://www.sdmts.com/Trolley/TrolleyFactSheet.asp). February 2011. Retrieved 2013-06-21. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Ristine, Jeff (July 23, 2006). "After 25 years, the trolley keeps on moving". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  6. ^ a b "September 2, 2012 Service Changes Major Bus and Trolley Service Changes". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. September 2, 2012. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  7. ^ "San Diego’s Green Line Will Finally Arrive Downtown In September". KPBS. April 30, 2012. Retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  8. ^ a b "Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project". San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). Retrieved 2013-04-16. 
  9. ^ "MTS To Purchase 57 New Light Rail Vehicles". KGTV (10 News). September 24, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-24. 
  10. ^ a b c "Trolley Renewal Project". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  11. ^ "MTS Moves! Summer 2010 (MTS Newsletter)" (pdf). San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. Summer 2010. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  12. ^ "Mid Coast Trolley Extension Map" (pdf). San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  13. ^ "Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project Fact Sheet" (pdf). San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). May 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-07.