From the opening of the last segment of the 20-mile I-15 Express Lanes to double-tracking the coastal rail corridor to the purchase of the SR 125 toll road, funds from TransNet half-cent sales tax really did keep San Diego moving in 2011-2012.
These are among three of the highlights reported in the annual TransNet update, a report on projects completed into early 2012 and the status of ongoing projects that are funded all or in part by TransNet.
The TransNet tax was instituted in 1988 and extended for 40 years by San Diego County taxpayers in 2004. During the extension, the tax is expected to raise $14 billion for transit, highway, local road, bicycle and pedestrian projects, and the Environmental Mitigation Program which protects, preserves, and restores native habitat.
One of the highest profile projects cited in the report is the $1.7 billion extension of the San Diego Trolley north from Old Town to University City. In 2011, the Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project received crucial federal approval to enter preliminary engineering, making future costs eligible for 50 percent federal reimbursement.
Express bus services to Downtown San Diego from Escondido, South Bay, and San Diego State University are progressing toward launches in 2013 and 2014.
Several TransNet-funded highway projects are nearing completion:
The TransNet extension has returned $215.6 million since 2008 to the region’s 18 cities and the county to fix, maintain, and expand local roads. Additionally, $15.6 million has gone to support local transit-oriented development and a similar amount has gone for bicycle, pedestrian, and neighborhood safety programs.
David Hicks, Senior Public Information Officer