MTS expands High-Frequency Bus Network
On some bus routes, public transportation users can now get to their destinations faster with the recently-expanded high-frequency bus network.
A total of eight routes were improved since Sunday, Jan. 28, including: routes 3, 5, 11, 13, 906/907, 950, 955, and Rapid 235.
Metropolitan Transit System marketing specialist Marcial Gutierrez Jr. said to La Prensa San Diego that improvements include an increase in frequency and even service span extension into late evening in some routes.
These efforts are part of the agency’s Transit Optimization Plan (TOP), which will include more than 30 routes with a frequency of 15 minutes or better when the plan is fully implemented. MTS is allocating an additional $2 million to fund these new services.
“We know that frequency and speed of service are the keys for our current riders and attracting new riders,” said MTS CEO Paul Jablonski. “We are investing into our system to make it as convenient and efficient as possible. Hundreds of thousands of people already choose transit every day. We’re working hard to make our system an even more attractive choice for people all over the San Diego region.”
TOP is an update of the 2004-2006 Comprehensive Operational Analysis (COA) that resulted in major changes to the system’s bus and Trolley services.
In the 10 years since COA implementation, MTS experienced increased ridership, fare revenue and operational efficiencies for nine years straight.
However, after record-breaking ridership in fiscal year 2015, ridership dipped in fiscal year 2016, and again in fiscal year 2017, which follows a national trend in declining public transportation use. TOP is designed to reverse that trend by attracting riders.
“Getting people out of cars and into alternative modes of transportation is absolutely critical in order for this region to achieve its Climate Action goals,” Jablonski said. “MTS wants to do everything it can to enhance its services to make it as easy as possible for people to use transit. TOP is just one of the many ways we are working to make transit a viable option for many more people.”
MTS operates 95 bus routes and three Trolley lines on 53 miles of double-tracked railway. Every weekday 300,000 passenger trips are taken on MTS bus and Trolley services in the county. In fiscal year 2017, MTS served more than 88 million riders.
MTS will make more changes in June and September. In total, more than 60 routes will be changed to better meet market demands. All the changes can be seen at www.sdmts.com.