Archive for the ‘traffic’ Category

Public Hearing About the Fate of the Coaster Connection

Calling all transit advocates!

The public hearing I wrote about previously is tomorrow at 9am at the downtown MTS headquarters on 12th and Imperial (aka the Imperial Transit Station if you’d like to ride the trolley there…).

Even if you don’t work in Sorrento Valley or ride the coaster, your support would be appreciated.  The elimination of this vital service only weakens San Diego’s infrastructure and our prospects for leading the way as a green city.  Who do we think the stimulus moneys are going to flow to for green initiatives?  The cities who killed responsible green projects?  Nope.  Let’s all help remind the MTS that we need to be forward thinking!

If you’re interested in learning the fate of the service as it happens, I’ll be live tweeting the event and you can follow the proceedings on the #mtscc hash tag.

Save the… transit?

Like most cities in California (and America for that matter), San Diego is admittedly a car town.  You mention San Diego to most people and it immediately conjures up images of surfers loading up boards into or onto their cars, lowriders cruising through Chula Vista or down Imperial Blvd.

However, there is some love for urban mass transit here.  Promotional images of San Diego will often include a certain Red Trolley (which happens to be the fourth busiest light rail system in the country – thanks Wikipedia!) and Karl Strauss has done us all a service by paying homage with his version of that local icon.

What most people don’t think of when they think about getting around San Diego is the Coaster.

It's cheaper and more relaxing than driving. Plus it's better for the environment.

For the uninitiated, the Coaster is San Diego’s very own regional rail system (much like the Greater Los Angeles Metrolink system) which moves an estimated 6000 riders a day and over 1.5 million people per year from Downtown Santa Fe Depot all the way to the Oceanside Transit Station with several stops along the way.

Hundreds of commuters disembark daily at Sorrento Valley, the San Diego’s hub for local biotech, engineering, and software firms.  Until as recently as September of last year, these commuters were greeted by a fleet of free shuttlevans known collectively as the Coaster Connection.

I’ve been riding the Coaster for seven years now, and for nearly all that time the shuttles have been zero cost to the riders.  They were just included as part of the cost of riding the coaster, just like every other MTS or NCTD bus.  This all came to a halt last summer during the gas crisis and suddenly ridership on the Coaster began to skyrocket.  It was really encouraging.  And then the funding for the Connection seemed to dry up.  To its credit, the MTS has tried its best to maintain the service, condensing routes and then adding fees but then the Depression of 09 seemed to catch up.

MTS is looking for ways to cut their budget and the Coaster Connection is currently being looked at for further cuts.  The fate of the service will again be in question as of February 19th.

Its nice that MTS uses a twitter account to keep riders up to date. I hope every transit authority will follow suit.

It's nice that MTS uses a twitter account to keep riders up to date. I hope every transit authority will follow suit.

I hope transit fans will write or call the MTS and help convince them to save the service.  Better still, if you’re a Sorrento Valley employee, get out of your car and into the Coaster.  Convince your company to pitch in and save the service, or at the very least ask them to attend the public hearing.  It’s obvious that we can’t count on state funding to keep these essential services.  If we’re really serious about reducing traffic and saving the environment we should all do our part.


The following routes are in danger of being cut.

San Diego MTS will host a public hearing concerning the Sorrento Valley COASTER Connection (SVCC) shuttles. The hearing will be held at: Metropolitan Transit System, 1255 Imperial Avenue, Suite 1000, San Diego, CA 92101-7490, on Thursday, February 19 at 9 am. A decision regarding the shuttles could be made at the February meeting.

Route 971, 972, 973, 974, 975, 976, 977, 978 – Coaster Commuter Rail Feeder
Sorrento Valley Coaster Station – Sorrento Valley employment centers and offices
Option 1: Cancel lines due to state funding issues
Option 2: Reorganize the shuttles saving approximately 60% of the existing service.

How to Contact MTS:

@sdmts on twitter on the intertubes

or call (619) 595-4912

I’ll be brining you more on this as it develops!


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