San Diego State University Transit Center

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SDSU Transit Center
San Diego Trolley station
SDSU Green Line.jpg
Trolley arriving at the SDSU trolley station on regional free ride day
LocationSan Diego State University Aztec Green
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, California 92182
Coordinates32°46′24″N 117°4′15″W / 32.77333°N 117.07083°W / 32.77333; -117.07083Coordinates: 32°46′24″N 117°4′15″W / 32.77333°N 117.07083°W / 32.77333; -117.07083
PlatformsSide platform
ConnectionsBus transport MTS: 11, 14, 115, Rapid 215, 856, 936, 955
ParkingSeveral Pay Parking lots with some street parking.
Disabled accessYes
OpenedJuly 10, 2005
Preceding station   San Diego Trolley   Following station
Green Line

SDSU Transit Center is a station on San Diego Trolley's Green Line. The station is underground (the only such station in the system) and has side platforms. The station is located in the Aztec Green on the south portion of the campus of San Diego State University. The station entrances are between College Avenue and Campanile Drive. The station is very popular with students and staff who commute to the university because of the high cost and low availability of parking around campus.


In 1989, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit Development Board began developing plans for an additional trolley line connecting its Blue and Orange lines.[1] The new line was initially expected to cost $506 million and cover 5.6 miles of track.[1] After initially looking at over ten different routes to connect the two lines, the Board initially recommended connecting San Diego State University at the north end of its campus, near Interstate 8. However SDSU officials wanted the trolley station to go through the center of the campus, which would require tunneling underneath the campus. The Board initially balked at this concept as it would increase construction costs by $40–50 million.[1] Once the Board learned that tunneling would be cheaper than purchasing adjacent land they agreed to alter the route. Final construction costs for the new trolley station were $103 million.[1] Construction for the new trolley line first began in 1999.


Several methods were used to excavate the tunnel that would contain the station and the tracks to be used for the trolleys to pass underneath the campus. 2,915 feet (of the total 4,000 feet of track) were excavated using the cut-and-cover method where a current road above the tunnel would have its pavement removed, the underlying ground entrenched, and the pavement for the road re-added. For the remaining 1,085 feet, the New Austrian Tunnelling method was used, which required the use of the geological stress of the surrounding rock mass to stabilize the tunnel.[1]

Construction of the tunnel and station was designed (Began in September 1998) to minimally disrupt the campus and, as a result, it was halted during the opening weeks of each semester as well as finals. The station opened in September 2005 with sold out tickets purchased by students.[1][2]


The trolley station was designed by the architect firm ZGF Architects. The station was initially designed to limit the noise of the passing trolleys, so as to not disturb classes on campus. In addition to blue cold cathode lighting, natural light enters the station from the street level above through 20 openings.[1]

Platforms at the San Diego State University Transit Center.


On June 29, 2011, the station was dedicated to Leon Williams, an SDSU alumnus and a former MTS board chair who was instrumental in bringing the light rail line to the heart of the SDSU campus.[3]

Station layout[edit]

There are two tracks, each served by a side platform.

Side platform, doors will open on the right
Westbound San Diego Trolley Green Line.svg Green Line toward 12th & Imperial Transit Center (Grantville)
Eastbound San Diego Trolley Green Line.svg Green Line toward Santee Town Center (Alvarado Medical Center)
Side platform, doors will open on the right

Bus connections[edit]

San Diego Metropolitan Transit System: 11, 14, 15, 115, Rapid 215, 856, 936, 955[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Big tram on campus: San Diego State University lobbied hard for a light-rail station that connects the campus to downtown and reduces students' dependence on automobiles". Building Design & Construction. June 1, 2006. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
  2. ^ "MTS Historical Timeline". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
  3. ^ "MTS Dedicates SDSU Trolley Station to Leon Williams". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. July 1, 2011.
  4. ^ "Regional Transit Map". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. March 1, 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-22.