SANDAG seeks public input on new transportation hub


File – A bus in San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System. (Courtesy of MTS)

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The San Diego Association of Governments put out a call Thursday for public comment as it conducts an environmental review process for its proposed Central Mobility Hub project.

SANDAG leaders envision the Central Mobility Hub as a transportation center that will improve mobility throughout the San Diego region by connecting a variety of transportation options, including a direct transit link to San Diego International Airport.

SANDAG, the regional agency addressing transportation and other issues throughout San Diego County, has made the hub a key element of its 2021 Regional Plan and will be accepting public comments on the project through May 28.

“For decades, our region has tried to find a solution to provide direct and convenient transit access to San Diego International Airport,” SANDAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata said. “We believe the Central Mobility Hub is the answer. This project also could improve travel throughout the region, support new jobs and housing, and improve our quality of life.”

In addition to providing a direct transit connection to the airport, SANDAG leaders believe the Central Mobility Hub could serve as one of the region’s primary transportation centers — connecting Amtrak, the North County Transit District’s Coaster line, the trolley, rapid and local bus services and future modes of transit with other mobility options, public services, amenities, jobs and housing.

SANDAG is exploring two potential locations for the hub, as well as a trolley connection alternative.

The first location, the Intermodal Transportation Center, is a 13-acre site located near the northeastern edge of the airport between the San Diego (5) Freeway and Pacific Highway, south of Washington Street. That site could provide direct connections to all regional transit services, other mobility options, and the airport.

The second location, the Navy Old Town Campus, is a 70.5-acre site located west of the 5 Freeway and south of Old Town. SANDAG is working with the Navy to explore the opportunity to include the hub on a portion of the site. According to the agency, the location also includes the potential for supportive land uses — such as housing, office space and retail — in addition to direct connections to all regional transit services, other mobility options, and the airport.

The Navy is seeking to redevelop the site to provide modernized Naval Information Warfare Systems Command facilities. Two of the five alternatives being studied by the Navy include development of a transit center, which could be the Central Mobility Hub.

The Navy is evaluating the potential revitalization of the Old Town Campus on a separate and independent basis from the Central Mobility Hub project. SANDAG is working with the Navy and other agencies to ensure collaboration and information sharing between the projects.

An extension of the trolley to San Diego International Airport is also being studied as a project alternative, extending west from the existing trolley alignment toward the airport through an underground trench or tunnel below Grape and Hawthorne Streets. Under that alternative, a Central Mobility Hub would not be constructed.

The Environmental Impact Report for the hub will study all aspects of the project including the two locations in consideration, a trolley extension alternative, the proposed direct transit connection to San Diego International Airport and improvements to local roads and highway access.

SANDAG will host a virtual public scoping meeting on May 11 to share information about the project and address questions from the public. More information can be found at

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