Oceanside Transit Center changes to improve holiday travel, officials say

SAN DIEGO — An expanded section of the Oceanside Transit Center opened to the public Monday, and transportation officials say the enlarged facility should make holiday travel much smoother in the region.

The $28 million project increased the number of trains that can board passengers simultaneously and allows freight trains to pass though the station – – one of the county’s busiest — while passengers are boarding. Previously, if one train was boarding passengers, another pulling in behind it had to idle outside the station at 235 S. Tremont St.

The 1.2 million annual Coaster, Metrolink and Amtrak Pacific Surfliner passengers who use the station can expect a smoother experience, according to SANDAG.

“Our transit center is one of the busiest in the state serving more than 220 trains and buses a day,” Oceanside Deputy Mayor Chuck Lowery said. “We are reducing travel times by improving system reliability and the efficiency of freight movement, which in turn reduces car and truck traffic on Interstate 5. This is a step in the right direction for each one of us: cleaner air, less traffic and more travel options.”

The project by the San Diego Association of Governments and North County Transit District also created level boarding for the north platform — which allows disabled riders to board quickly and without assistance, plus new shelters, seating and electronic arrival times.