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South County is on the move Jim Sandoval | Sat, Dec 28 2013 12:00 PM

This year, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) is celebrating the 25th anniversary of TransNet, the local half-cent sales tax for transportation in San Diego County. We invite you to take a moment to recognize what TransNet has accomplished for the region and for the city of Chula Vista. Thanks to TransNet, numerous upgrades to our transit system, highway network, and local streets have been completed, as well as a variety of habitat conservation efforts.

TransNet has kept projects moving in the San Diego region, even during the depths of the Great Recession. These construction projects help fuel our regional economy. In general, every billion dollars in expenditures is estimated to create 12,000 jobs directly and indirectly.

In Chula Vista, nearly $85 million has been allocated in the last 25 years to help fund local streets and roads projects including traffic signals, street widenings, freeway interchanges, sidewalks, ADA curb cuts, habitat restoration, bicycle lanes, bridge widenings and more. TransNet funding also has contributed to projects such as the Third Avenue Streetscape, Bayshore Bikeway, Industrial Boulevard Bike Lane, Healthy Communities, and Palomar Gateway Specific Plan.

The Trolley Renewal project that is renovating the Blue Line through Chula Vista to the International Border is funded in part by TransNet. When this nearly $1 billion project is completed, new low-floor Trolleys will operate throughout the system. All stations will be equipped with next-arrival signs, new shelters and seating. The end result will be easier access, quicker trips, a more comfortable ride, and an enhanced transit experience.

Regional Transit Projects

• South Bay Bus Rapid Transit service will provide rapid and reliable transit service from the Otay Mesa Port of Entry to Downtown San Diego via eastern Chula Vista. Service will begin in 2015.
• SPRINTER commuter rail service between Oceanside and Escondido
• COASTER commuter rail service between Oceanside and San Diego
• Trolley system enhancements, including extensions to Santee, Old Town, Mission Valley, La Mesa, and San Diego State University
• SuperLoop, a circular bus system serving the North University City area of San Diego

Regional Highway Projects

• Public acquisition of South Bay Expressway/SR 125 and reduction of tolls by up to 40 percent
• Expansion of SR 54 to connect South Bay and East County communities
• Completion of SR 125 from SR 54 to SR 94 and from I-8 to SR 52
• Contributions to support border infrastructure and goods movement on SR 905 and SR 11
• Completion of SR 56, I-5 to Carmel Country Road and Black Mountain Road to I-15
• Extension of SR 52 from I-15 through Santee to SR 67
• Completion of the I-15 Express Lanes from Escondido to San Diego

The city of Chula Vista will continue to benefit from the voter-approved TransNet half-cent sales tax that will fund transportation projects through 2048. In the coming decades, TransNet will finance major initiatives to preserve and enhance the region’s quality of life, including extending the San Diego Trolley, launching a Rapid bus network, and building more than 40 bike projects throughout the region. For more information on TransNet-funded projects, visit KeepSanDiegoMoving.com.

Sandoval is Chula Vista City Manager.   

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