Blue Line (San Diego Trolley)

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Blue Line Blue Line
San Diego Trolley 03.jpg
Blue Line train at E Street Station
Overview
Other name(s)UC San Diego Blue Line
StatusOperational
OwnerMetropolitan Transit System
LocaleSan Diego, California
TerminiAmerica Plaza
San Ysidro Transit Center
Stations18[1]
WebsiteSDMTS - Trolley
Service
TypeLight rail
SystemSan Diego Trolley
Operator(s)San Diego Trolley, Inc.
Rolling stock3-car trains (one SD-100 between two streetcar-length S70s)
Ridership16,532,209 (FY 2015)[2]
History
OpenedJuly 19, 1981; 39 years ago (1981-07-19)[3]
Technical
Line length15.4 mi (24.8 km)[1]
Number of tracks2 tracks
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm)
(standard gauge)
Electrification600 V DC Overhead lines
Operating speed55 mph (89 km/h) (max)
Route map

UTC Transit Center
Executive Drive
UC San Diego Health La Jolla
UC San Diego Central Campus
VA Medical Center
Nobel Drive
COASTER logo.svg and Amtrak logo.svg
Balboa Avenue
Clairemont Drive
Tecolote Road
Old Town Transit Center
Washington Street
Middletown
County Center/Little Italy
Santa Fe Depot
San Diego Trolley Green Line.svg Green Line
America Plaza
San Diego International Airport (via America Plaza station)
Civic Center
Fifth Avenue
San Diego Square
Closed
1986
City College
San Diego International Airport (via City College station (San Diego))
Park & Market
12th & Imperial Transit Center
Greyhound Lines
San Diego Trolley Green Line.svg Green Line and San Diego Trolley Silver Line.svg Silver Line
(Storage and Maintenance Yard)
Barrio Logan
Harborside
32nd St. to SR 15
Pacific Fleet
8th Street
24th Street
Bayfront/E Street
H Street
Palomar Street
Palm Avenue
Iris Avenue
Beyer Boulevard
San Ysidro Transit Center
Greyhound Lines
Handicapped/disabled access all stations accessible

The Blue Line (officially the UC San Diego Blue Line for sponsorship purposes) 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).[1] It currently operates between Downtown San Diego and San Ysidro, at the border with Mexico. The southernmost station, San Ysidro Transit Center, is located directly adjacent to the San Ysidro Port of Entry, facilitating easy connections across the border.[4]

The line is one of four lines in the Trolley system, the others include the Green, Orange, and Silver lines.[1] 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,[2] according to the MTS. It is named due to a $30 million naming rights deal with UC San Diego Health.[6] Construction is underway for the extension to its namesake campus of the University of California, San Diego, as well as nine other stations. This extension is on track to be completed in late 2021.[7]

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][8] at a spartan cost of $86 million (equivalent to $242 million in 2019), 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, which later became the Orange Line. On July 2, 1992, the line was extended north from downtown with the opening of the County Center/Little Italy stop.[8] It was renamed the North-South Line when the Old Town extension opened on June 16, 1996.[8] 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.[8]

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,[8] 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.[9] Blue Line trains travel between America Plaza to San Ysidro on a regular 15 minute frequency, with a 7+12 minute frequency during weekday rush hours.[9][10] Blue Line service to Old Town will be reinstated once the Mid-Coast trolley extension to UC San Diego is completed.[11] UC San Diego Health paid $30 million to rename the route the UC San Diego Blue Line in 2015.[12]

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.[13] The project to renovate the stations, called the Trolley Renewal Project, began in fall 2010.[14][15] 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.[16] Renovation of rail track and the final eleven Blue Line stations was completed in late 2015.[17][18]

Stations[edit]

Station Location Connections
America Plaza Core, San Diego Amtrak California: Pacific Surfliner (at Santa Fe Depot)
North County Transit District: Coaster (at Santa Fe Depot)
San Diego Trolley Green Line.svg Green Line (at Santa Fe Depot)
San Diego Trolley Silver Line.svg Silver Line
Metropolitan Transit System: 83, Rapid 215, Rapid 225, Rapid 235, Rapid Express 280, Rapid Express 290, 923, 992
Civic Center Core, San Diego San Diego Trolley Orange Line.svg Orange Line and San Diego Trolley Silver Line.svg Silver Line
Fifth Avenue Core, San Diego San Diego Trolley Orange Line.svg Orange Line and San Diego Trolley Silver Line.svg Silver Line
Metropolitan Transit System: 3, 20
City College East Village, San Diego San Diego Trolley Orange Line.svg Orange Line and San Diego Trolley Silver Line.svg Silver Line
Metropolitan Transit System: 2, 5, 7, 20, 30, Rapid 215, Rapid 225, Rapid 235, Rapid Express 280, Rapid Express 290, 992
Park & Market East Village, San Diego San Diego Trolley Orange Line.svg Orange Line and San Diego Trolley Silver Line.svg Silver Line
Metropolitan Transit System: 3, 5
12th & Imperial Transit Center East Village, San Diego San Diego Trolley Green Line.svg Green Line, San Diego Trolley Orange Line.svg Orange Line and San Diego Trolley Silver Line.svg Silver Line
Metropolitan Transit System: 4, 12, 901, 929
Greyhound Lines
Barrio Logan Logan Heights, San Diego
Harborside Logan Heights, San Diego
Pacific Fleet Naval Base San Diego
8th Street Car parking National City Metropolitan Transit System: 932, 955, 962, 963, 968
24th Street Car parking National City Metropolitan Transit System: 13, 961, 967
Bayfront/E Street Car parking Chula Vista Metropolitan Transit System: 704, 705, 932
Living Coast Discovery Center shuttle
H Street Car parking Chula Vista Metropolitan Transit System: 701, 709
Palomar Street Car parking Chula Vista Metropolitan Transit System: 701, 704, 712
Palm Avenue Car parking Palm City, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System: 932, 933, 934
Iris Avenue Car parking Otay Mesa West, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System: 901, 905, 906, 907, 929, 932, 933, 934, 950
Beyer Boulevard Car parking San Ysidro, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System: 906, 907
San Ysidro Transit Center San Ysidro, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System: 906, 907

Future[edit]

The Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project is an 11-mile (18 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.[19][20] Ridership is projected at 34,700 trips in 2030.[21] 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,[11][22] costing $2.1 billion.[21] 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.[23]

The Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project is being done in conjunction with the North Coast Corridor project, which upgrades the LOSSAN Corridor further to the north. Both projects build upon the original right-of-way of the Surf Line, which was built in the 1880s as the original railway from Los Angeles to San Diego.

Future alignment[edit]

The following table lists the stations associated with the Mid-Coast Trolley extension project, including existing stations that the Blue Line will serve once the extension is opened.

Station Location Connections
UTC Transit Center (future) Car parking University City, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System: 30, 31, 41, 60, 105, Rapid 201, Rapid 202, Rapid 204, 921
North County Transit District: 101
Executive Drive (future) University City, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System: 237, 979
UC San Diego Health La Jolla (future) University City, San Diego
UC San Diego Central Campus (future) La Jolla, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System: 985
VA Medical Center (future) La Jolla, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System: 30, 41, Rapid 201, Rapid 202, 237, 921A
North County Transit District: 101
Nobel Drive (future) Car parking La Jolla, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System: 30, Rapid 201, Rapid 202
North County Transit District: 101
Balboa Avenue (future) Car parking Bay Park, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System: 8, 27, 43, 140
Clairemont Drive (future) Car parking Bay Park, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System: 105
Tecolote Road (future) Car parking Mission Valley, San Diego
Old Town Transit Center Car parking Old Town, San Diego Amtrak California: Pacific Surfliner
North County Transit District: Coaster
San Diego Trolley Green Line.svg Green Line
Metropolitan Transit System: 8, 9, 10, 28, 30, 35, 44, 83, 84, 88, 105, 150
Washington Street Mission Hills, San Diego San Diego Trolley Green Line.svg Green Line
Metropolitan Transit System: 10
Middletown Middletown, San Diego San Diego Trolley Green Line.svg Green Line
County Center/Little Italy Little Italy, San Diego San Diego Trolley Green Line.svg Green Line
Santa Fe Depot Core, San Diego Amtrak California: Pacific Surfliner
North County Transit District: Coaster
San Diego Trolley Green Line.svg Green Line
Metropolitan Transit System: 83, 215, 225, 235, 280, 290, 923, 992
America Plaza Core, San Diego San Diego Trolley Silver Line.svg Silver Line
Metropolitan Transit System: 83, Rapid 215, Rapid 225, Rapid 235, Rapid Express 280, Rapid Express 290, 923, 992
Continues via existing route

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "San Diego Trolley, Inc" (PDF). San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. February 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2015 – via http://www.sdmts.com/about-mts.
  2. ^ 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 February 29, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "MTS Historical Timeline". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  4. ^ "SDMTS - Trolley". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. 2015. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  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 September 19, 2014.
  6. ^ "San Diego MTS teams with UC San Diego to rename Blue Line Trolley". Metro Magazine. July 17, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  7. ^ "Mid-Coast Trolley Expansion Right on Schedule; Set to Be Completed Late 2021". NBC 7 San Diego. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  8. ^ a b c d e Ristine, Jeff (July 23, 2006). "After 25 years, the trolley keeps on moving". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on October 9, 2012. Retrieved June 14, 2009.
  9. ^ a b "SDMTS Service Changes, September 2012". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. September 2, 2012. Archived from the original on April 30, 2015. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  10. ^ "San Diego's Green Line Will Finally Arrive Downtown In September". KPBS. April 30, 2012. Retrieved April 17, 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Mid-Coast Trolley". San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  12. ^ UCSD Guardian Editorial Board (September 30, 2015). "Crossing the Blue Line". The Guardian. University of California, San Diego. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  13. ^ "MTS To Purchase 57 New Light Rail Vehicles". KGTV (10 News). September 24, 2009. Retrieved September 24, 2009.
  14. ^ 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 March 23, 2016.
  15. ^ "Several Blue Line trolley stops to close this weekend". The San Diego Union Tribune. October 27, 2010. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  16. ^ "Blue Line Upgraded with a New Fleet of Low-Floor Trolley Cars". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. January 27, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  17. ^ "Trolley Renewal". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2016 – via http://www.sdmts.com/inside-mts/current-projects.
  18. ^ "San Diego Trolley Renewal Project Fact Sheet" (pdf). San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) & San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS). September 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2016 – via http://www.keepsandiegomoving.com/Trolley/trolley-newsroom-factsheet.aspx.
  19. ^ "MTS Moves! Summer 2010 (MTS Newsletter)" (PDF). San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. Summer 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 19, 2015. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  20. ^ "Mid Coast Trolley Extension Map" (pdf). San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  21. ^ a b "Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project" (PDF). Federal Transit Administration. April 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 21, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  22. ^ Matthews, Ashley (July 8, 2020). "Mid-Coast Trolley Expansion Still on Track, Even During Pandemic". NBC San Diego. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  23. ^ "Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project Fact Sheet" (PDF). San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). May 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2013.

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata