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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The Metropolitan Transit System Board of Directors Thursday approved the Palm Avenue Trolley Station project — a mixed-use, mixed-income transit-oriented development project in the Otay Mesa-Nestor community.

This affordable housing project will be located at the Palm Avenue Trolley Station and is planned to include 390 affordable apartments — 288 for low-income households and 102 for moderate-income households, ground-floor retail, a child care facility and outdoor recreation space.

“I am very pleased this project is moving forward as it provides desperately needed affordable and middle-income housing,” said Vivian Moreno, MTS board member and San Diego City Councilwoman. “As this is the first MTS joint development project on a transit station parking lot along the Blue Line, we have an opportunity to help our riders to walk, bike or use transit to get to the station once the project is completed.”

At Moreno’s urging, MTS will conduct market research to determine the best way to convince riders to take transit to the station and based on this research, prepare a first- and last-mile pilot program to enhance bus and shuttle service serving the station that can be implemented when Phase II of the project is completed and the existing surplus parking is eliminated.

Moreno also requested that MTS and the development team explore offering all residents a free transit pass for at least the initial year, to ensure that the residents of Palm City Village use transit rather than drive.

“We have to develop better transit options to access the station and then actively sell them to our customers,” she said.

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