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Mid-Coast Trolley receives environmental approval

The Mid-Coast trolley extension received final environmental approval on November 21, and the project is now poised to compete for federal funding and move forward into construction.

The SANDAG Board of Directors voted unanimously Friday morning to certify the state environmental document, known as the Final Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (SEIR). The vote comes on the heels of the environmental approval issued last month by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

“We have been working toward this milestone for many years,” said Supervisor Ron Roberts, a member of the SANDAG Board and chair of the Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project Working Group. “We look forward to securing federal funding for the project next year and starting construction on this long-awaited regional transit project.”

The next step is to seek approval from the FTA to enter into final engineering and to secure a full funding grant agreement (FFGA) from the FTA’s New Starts program. Anticipated in late 2015, the FFGA would provide 50 percent of the project funding. Including financing, the project is expected to cost approximately $2 billion, with half coming from the FFGA and half from the region’s TransNet half-cent sales tax for transportation.

“This project will not only provide additional travel choices for residents, it will also be a major boost to the regional economy,” said Santee Councilmember Jack Dale, chair of the SANDAG Board of Directors. “Its construction will result in more than 14,000 local jobs, and it will provide a net economic benefit of more than $2.5 billion for the region.”

The Mid-Coast Trolley is one of the region’s highest priority transit projects.  As an extension of the San Diego Trolley Blue Line, it will provide a no-transfer ride from the international border and communities south of Downtown San Diego all the way to UC San Diego and University City, connecting residents directly to job centers with reliable, frequent, high-speed transit. It is projected to increase daily transit ridership by 21,000 riders each day.

Construction on the Mid-Coast Trolley is anticipated to start in late 2015. Visit sandag.org/midcoast for more information.

Project Manager(s)

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or pio@sandag.org.