Blue Line Trolley

Today San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) just got 11 miles of new track.

The Blue Line trolley extension heads north, starting at the Old Town transit center and connects the VA Hospital and then UC San Diego, where it’s takes a jog to the east, followed by a bend to the south, making it look like a shepherd’s staff. It’s terminus, the UTC Mall.

San Diego’s new trolley map

I am a public transportation geek going way back. I have loved exploring subway or trolley systems in New York, London, Minneapolis and Mexico City and not long ago I served on the board of Circulate San Diego, whose goal is to get people to travel on anything, including their legs, that’s not a car.

I love trains and I love looking at transit maps. They look like needlepoint designs. They’re like a spiders web that tries to catch any fly buzzing around the city. San Diego’s map just got a little more comprehensive but there are some missing links.

You can’t take the trolley to the airport and you can’t take it to the beach. Can’t take it to the beach! In San Diego for fuck sake! Something’s gotta be done.

Today, on the first day of its operation, my son is taking the Blue Line up to UCSD where he is working a shift at the on-campus Target store. He is as covetous of the environment and as devoted to alternative transportation as I am. Maybe more so. He’s always looking for a way to kill some more carbon emissions.

I asked him if he thought there would be a lot of people riding on that trolley leg, maybe because they were excited about the extension’s premiere day of travel. He said he didn’t expect so. But I bet they were there. The transit geeks. The train lovers. The environmental puritans. My kind of people.


Here’s a next-day update on my trolley blog post.  Like I said, my son took the Blue Line extension on Sunday afternoon to UC San Diego. He got on at Old Town at about 130 pm, and the trolley was crammed with people! He had to go to 2-3 three different entrance doors before he could find a place where he could push his way onto a trolley car. He said these people didn’t look like joy riders, excited about the first day. They just looked like everyday transit users.

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