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 Operational
Locale San Diego, California
Termini America Plaza
San Ysidro Transit Center
Stations 18[2]
Ridership 16,532,209 (FY 2015)[1]
Website SDMTS - Trolley
Operation
Opened July 19, 1981; 35 years ago (1981-07-19)[3]
Owner Metropolitan Transit System
Operator(s) San Diego Trolley, Inc.
Rolling stock 3-car trains (one SD-100 between two streetcar-length S70s)
Technical
Line length 15.4 mi (24.8 km)[2]
Number of tracks 2 tracks
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
(standard gauge)
Electrification 600 V DC Overhead lines
Operating speed 55 mph (89 km/h) (max)
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 (MTS).[2] It currently operates between Downtown San Diego and San Ysidro, at the border with Mexico.[4] The Blue Line has the highest ridership of the San Diego Trolley's three regular lines, transporting 15,094,878 riders during FY 2014[5] and 16,532,209 riders during FY 2015,[1] according to the MTS. It is officially named the UC San Diego Blue Line due to a naming rights deal with UC San Diego Health.[6]

The line is one of four lines in the Trolley system, the others include the Green, Orange, and Silver lines.[2]

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,[3][7] 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.[7] It was renamed the North-South Line when the Old Town extension opened on June 16, 1996.[7] The North-South Line was renamed the Blue Line in 1997,[3] with the opening of the extension to Mission San Diego on November 23, 1997.[7]

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,[7] 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.[8] 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.[8][9] Blue Line service to Old Town will be reinstated once the Mid-Coast trolley extension to UC San Diego is completed.[10] UC San Diego Health System paid $30 million to rename the route the UC San Diego Blue Line in 2015.[11]

Trolley Renewal Project[edit]

To accommodate the new Siemens S70 models and allow for their use on the line, the Blue Line stations needed to undergo renovation, although this was done over a period of five years to prevent the disruption of operation of the Trolley.[12] The project to renovate the stations, called the Trolley Renewal Project, began in fall 2010.[13][14] After beginning operation on the Green Line in 2011 and on the Orange Line in 2013, low-floor Siemens S70 LRVs began operation on the Blue Line on January 27, 2015.[15] Renovation of rail track and the final eleven Blue Line stations was completed in late 2015.[16][17]

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 - Parkplatz, StVO 2013.svg
24th Street MTS Bus icon.svg Zeichen 314 - Parkplatz, StVO 2013.svg
Bayfront/E Street MTS Bus icon.svg Zeichen 314 - Parkplatz, StVO 2013.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 - Parkplatz, StVO 2013.svg
Palomar Street MTS Bus icon.svg Zeichen 314 - Parkplatz, StVO 2013.svg
Palm Avenue MTS Bus icon.svg Zeichen 314 - Parkplatz, StVO 2013.svg
Iris Avenue MTS Bus icon.svg Zeichen 314 - Parkplatz, StVO 2013.svg
Beyer Boulevard MTS Bus icon.svg Zeichen 314 - Parkplatz, StVO 2013.svg
San Ysidro Transit Center MTS Bus icon.svg Serves U.S.-Mexico International Border.
Terminus for Blue Line.

Future service plans[edit]

Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project[edit]

The next major Trolley extension is the 10.9-mile (17.5 km) extension of the Blue Line from the Old Town Transit Center north to La Jolla Village, University of California, San Diego and University City.[18][19] Ridership is projected at 34,700 trips in 2030.[20] The extension will primarily follow the right-of-way of the Coaster and Interstate 5, with an elevated deviation around the UCSD area. MTS estimates that construction will begin in the second half of 2016 and the extension will be completed and ready for service in 2021,[10] costing $2.1 billion.[20] An aim of the extension is to decrease demand for parking on the UCSD campus while providing direct trolley access to Westfield UTC, a popular shopping mall. The existing SuperLoop BRT Shuttle (Routes 201/202) will provide transit in and around the UTC area from the nearby Trolley stations.[21]

Future extension alignment[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
Westfield UTC
(Future Transit Center)
MTS Bus icon.svg Zeichen 314 - Parkplatz, StVO 2013.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)
MTS Bus icon.svg Will serve VA Medical Center (VAMC) of San Diego.
Nobel Drive
(Future Station)
MTS Bus icon.svg Zeichen 314 - Parkplatz, StVO 2013.svg Will serve La Jolla Village Square
and The Shops at La Jolla.
Balboa Avenue
(Future Station)
MTS Bus icon.svg Zeichen 314 - Parkplatz, StVO 2013.svg
Clairemont Drive
(Future Station)
Zeichen 314 - Parkplatz, StVO 2013.svg Will serve Mission Bay.
Tecolote Road
(Future Station)
Zeichen 314 - Parkplatz, StVO 2013.svg Will serve SeaWorld.
Old Town Transit Center Green Line Green Line MTS Bus icon.svg Coaster icon.svg Zeichen 314 - Parkplatz, StVO 2013.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.[Note 1]
Continues on existing route

Gallery[edit]

Riders boarding an original Siemens–Duewag U2 Blue Line train at Old Town Transit Center (March 2008) 
Trolley of Blue Line arriving at E Street Station of San Diego Trolley. 
San Diego Trolley at America Plaza Station. 

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ While the original plan was to move the Orange Line's terminus back to America Plaza, as of 2016 there is a new proposal to build a new Courthouse station to the east of America Plaza to serve as the new western terminus for the Orange Line.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "MTS Announces Consecutive Years of Record Ridership With Nearly 97 million Passengers in FY 2015". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. October 1, 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-29. 
  2. ^ a b c d "San Diego Trolley, Inc." (pdf). San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. February 2013. Retrieved 2015-12-11 – via http://www.sdmts.com/about-mts. 
  3. ^ a b c "MTS Historical Timeline". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  4. ^ "SDMTS - Trolley". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-29. 
  5. ^ "MTS Announces a Record 95 Million Passengers Rode the Bus and Trolley in FY 2014". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. August 19, 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-19. 
  6. ^ "San Diego MTS teams with UC San Diego to rename Blue Line Trolley". Metro Magazine. July 17, 2015. Retrieved 2016-04-17. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ a b "SDMTS Service Changes, September 2012". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. September 2, 2012. Archived from the original on 2015-04-30. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  9. ^ "San Diego's Green Line Will Finally Arrive Downtown In September". KPBS. April 30, 2012. Retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  10. ^ a b "Mid-Coast Trolley". San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). Retrieved 2016-04-17. 
  11. ^ UCSD Guardian Editorial Board (September 30, 2015). "Crossing the Blue Line". The Guardian. University of California, San Diego. Retrieved 2016-04-17. 
  12. ^ "MTS To Purchase 57 New Light Rail Vehicles". KGTV (10 News). September 24, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-24. 
  13. ^ Robert J. Hawkins (September 22, 2010). "Construction Begins To Upgrade SD Trolley - $620M Project To Include New Track, Stations Along Blue, Orange Lines". KGTV ABC10 San Diego. Retrieved 2016-03-23. 
  14. ^ "Several Blue Line trolley stops to close this weekend". The San Diego Union Tribune. October 27, 2010. Retrieved 2016-03-23. 
  15. ^ "Blue Line Upgraded with a New Fleet of Low-Floor Trolley Cars". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. January 27, 2015. Retrieved 2015-02-17. 
  16. ^ "Trolley Renewal". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. 2015. Retrieved 2016-04-17 – via http://www.sdmts.com/inside-mts/current-projects. 
  17. ^ "San Diego Trolley Renewal Project Fact Sheet" (pdf). San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) & San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS). September 2015. Retrieved 2016-04-17 – via http://www.keepsandiegomoving.com/Trolley/trolley-newsroom-factsheet.aspx. 
  18. ^ "MTS Moves! Summer 2010 (MTS Newsletter)" (pdf). San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. Summer 2010. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  19. ^ "Mid Coast Trolley Extension Map" (pdf). San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  20. ^ a b "Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project" (PDF). Federal Transit Administration. April 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-20. 
  21. ^ "Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project Fact Sheet" (pdf). San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). May 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 

Route map: Bing / Google

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