On Sunday MTS celebrated the official opening of the long awaited Blue Line Extension. The celebration that took place at Warren Field in the UCSD campus, hundreds of people rode the trolley at no charge to attend the festivities that included free lunch and activities for the entire family. Attendees followed health protocols, showing proof of COVID-19 vaccination as well as wearing a mask.
This project now can take passengers from the border in San Ysidro to its last stop at UTC. The cost of the project was $2.2 billion to complete and it is the highest priced project MTS has ever attempted. The Blue Line Extension features service to the school as well as University City and the Golden Triangle, regions known for their high employment rates.
Elected officials spoke to the importance of this project to our region, "It is creating new jobs, new opportunities, new access to health care and more educational opportunities for so many residents of the San Diego-Tijuana region," said Mayor Alejandra Sotelo Solis of National City. Also present were Mayor of San Diego Todd Gloria, Congressman Scott Peters and Congressman Juan Vargas.
We followed Caremi (8) and Dahlia (13) on their trip from Chula Vista to the event, which took approximately 55 minutes from the E Street Trolley station. Despite the long ride, both of them enjoyed the tour of San Diego.
Among those riding the trolley on this date there were those who wanted to audit the feasibility of this mode of transportation, "Is it worth my time to travel, I have traveled in rail systems around the globe and I have seen many models that work and I want to decide if this is viable for me" said Romy Laviano.
There was also support for the San Diego trolley system, "It's not like this everyday [crowded], I have so many people say they don't want to take it. As citizens you should really experience it, we have a beautiful trolley system." Carolyne Porter stated as she looked forward to the event.
There was no doubt that this project was well received and that the option it provides to the region is a big asset for San Diego.