Full Service on South Bay Rapid to Start

Created: 23 January, 2019
Last update: 27 July, 2022

By Ana Gomez Salcido

A new transit option is coming to residents in the South Bay area. Starting on Sunday, January 27, MTS will operate full service on the South Bay Rapid, which provides high-frequency service from the Otay Mesa border to Downtown San Diego.

The initial segment between East Palomar Station and Downtown San Diego began on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018. Service operates along Interstate 805 every 15 to 30 minutes northbound during the morning peak and southbound during the afternoon peak.

South Bay Rapid (Rapid 225) will be extended to its full length to Otay Mesa starting January 27, 2019 with the opening of the seven remaining stops in the South Bay community. The full 26-mile route will run from the Otay Mesa Transit Center to Downtown San Diego from 5 a.m. through 11 p.m. daily.

“The South Bay Rapid is the latest project that shows how Caltrans and our transportation partners are working successfully with the community to build a sustainable, efficient, multi-modal transportation system to improve the quality of life for communities across our region,” said Caltrans District 11 Director Cory Binns.

Rapid features high-frequency, limited-stop service, and upgraded bus and station amenities. Rapid improves travel times through the use of transit signal priority, dedicated lanes on some routes, and limited stops. As a result, Rapid provides easy access to desirable destinations, frequent and reliable service, and faster travel time — all at a cost savings when compared to driving.

South Bay Rapid is funded through TransNet, a regional voter-approved half-cent sales tax to accelerate construction of high-priority transportation projects. The overall project budget for the TransNet Early Action Program phase of the project is approximately $128 million. This budget includes costs for capital improvements, property acquisition, and support costs for design engineering and construction. An additional $15 million is budgeted for the procurement of new Rapid buses.

Rapid service routes include service to major attractions and destinations all over San Diego. Multiple routes end in Downtown for trips to Petco Park or Seaport Village. Rapid connects SDSU and City College, with stops outside of Balboa Park. Routes also go to UCSD and the I-15 routes offer easy access to popular biking and shopping.

To help encourage people to try South Bay Rapid, MTS is giving free rides for the first week of the full launch, January 27 to February 2. Passengers who ride South Bay Rapid will not be required to purchase a fare. For the full schedule and more information, people can visit sdmts.com/rapid.