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MTS bus route changes to increase speed, reliability

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SAN DIEGO — Twenty-six pending bus route scheduling changes are intended to increase speed, efficiency and reliability within the MTS system, the transportation provider announced Thursday.

The changes, which go into effect Sunday, are part of MTS’ Transit Optimization Plan, which launched fall 2016 to reverse a two-year decline in ridership and fare revenue.

In January, MTS implemented the first phase of scheduling changes to six routes.

“The changes happening Sunday are the second phase of TOP, a plan that improves speed of service and better meets the market’s demand,” MTS CEO Paul Jablonski said. “People asked for better bus frequency. We are providing it.”

Noteworthy phase two changes will take place along:

— Route 7, downtown San Diego to Redwood Village. Buses will stop every 10 minutes in each direction, instead of 6 or 12 minutes, as before;

— Route 12, East Village to Skyline. Saturday frequency will increase from 30 minutes to 20 minutes;

— Route 13, National City to Allied Gardens. Weekday frequency will increase from 15 minutes to 12 minutes. Morning and evening service will be added between 24th Street Transit Center and Euclid Transit Center;

— Route 833, El Cajon to Santee. Early morning trips will be added;

— Route 962, National City to Spring Valley. Service will increase to every 15 minutes on weekdays and 30 minutes on weekends.

Additionally, the new Route 852 will make stops along Redwood Village to Grossmont every 30 minutes.

For a full list of route changes, visit sdmts.com/top.

MTS allocated $2 million to implement upcoming route changes and the earlier changes from January. A third phase is expected in September. Money comes, in part, from Senate Bill 1 gas tax funds.

The Transit Optimization Plan was developed with nearly 6,000 surveys, more than 50 outreach events across the region and a public hearing, according to MTS. Rider input was complemented by system performance data and ridership patterns before adjustment proposals were made for more than 60 percent of MTS’ bus services.

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