MTS board OKs $125M of investments, including new buses, trolleys

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MTS bus downtown (Credit: MTS)

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The Metropolitan Transit System Board of Directors Thursday unanimously approved $125 million for the FY 2022 Capital Improvement Program, including major investments in new trolleys and buses.

“The MTS CIP is an important road map for planning and funding assets for San Diego’s transit system, and having $125 million to allocate in CIP funds is very healthy for an agency our size,” MTS CEO Sharon Cooney said. “This includes new trolleys and buses, advancing our zero-emission bus transition, fully funding our new fare collection system and more.”

The items receiving the most funding in FY 2022 are:

  • $42.2 million for 32 40-foot compressed natural gas buses, 10 minibuses and five zero emission buses;
  • $28.5 million for new low-floor trolleys;
  • $15.6 million for 11 60-foot zero emission buses for the Iris Rapid project;
  • $12.1 million for design and station infrastructure for Iris Rapid and overhead charging infrastructure to support the new route; and
  • $3.3 million for the new fare collection system, PRONTO.

The CIP process began last October with an internal call for projects from MTS departments. Each department submitted its capital project requests in priority order, and the lists were consolidated for review by the Capital Projects Review Committee.

The CPRC reviewed the projects in the context of their impact on operations and determined the most critical projects to fund this year. The MTS Budget Development Committee, made up of several MTS board members, then approved the CIP for full board consideration.

“MTS is committed to providing the best rider experience possible and the CIP helps us achieve this goal,” Cooney said.

MTS operates 95 bus routes and three trolley lines across 10 cities and unincorporated areas of San Diego County. Frequencies and spans have been restored to near-pre-COVID-19 levels, agency officials said.

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