by Photo courtesy of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) will receive $33.5 million in state funds to advance major improvements projects and transition to a zero-emission fleet by 2040. 

The Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP) awarded the funds through its competitive grant. The program is a part of the California Climate Investments, which is a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions and strengthening the economy, public health, and the environment. 

“We are very excited and grateful to our state officials for investing in San Diego’s transit future and our communities,” said Sharon Cooney, MTS chief executive officer. “The money from this grant will allow us to continue to modernize our system, rehabilitate and replace aging infrastructures, enhance safety for our riders, and increase ridership.”

According to MTS officials, the grant will fund the electrification of the MTS Imperial Avenue Division, the Orange Line Improvement project that will provide widespread enhancements, and The 12th and Imperial Transit Center Expansion project. 

The agency’s directors approved its Zero Emissions Bus Transition Plan in September 2020 with the goal of converting its entire bus fleet to zero emissions by 2040. The plan is expected to help further reduce the agency’s greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent from current levels. 

In May, the county’s elected officials and (MTS) celebrated the grand opening of the South Bay Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility in Chula Vista. According to transportation officials, the South Bay location was selected for its high volumes of ridership. 

The facility will serve the new Rapid Iris routes in the South Bay early next year. 

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