San Diego Metropolitan Transit System

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Here’s Where MTS Says You Have First Amendment Rights – and Where You Don’t.

MTS sees boost in transit numbers. utomatic passenger counters recently installed on the trolley network probably account for a large portion of the jump from 31.2 million trips in 2012 to 34.4 million in 2013, said Rob Schupp, spokesman for the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. “We’ve had an increase in ridership. But it’s not as big as the report indicates,” Schupp said, referring to a quarterly ridership report from the American Public Transportation Association. The infrared sensors added over the past two years give the agency “a far more accurate reflection of our ridership than in the past.” In 2010, MTS signed a $1.4 million deal to have the international firm INIT install the sensors using its “high-resolution infrared technology,” according to a company press release. Before, MTS staffers took a monthly sample of trolley ridership and handed over that data to a regional agency that calculated the light-rail system’s ridership estimates, Schupp said.

MTS Buses, Trolleys And Stations Tapped By An $18 Million Surveillance Network.

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - Investigators Friday are looking into the death of a man who died after being hit by the trolley in Chula Vista. The incident happened at 11:48 p.m. Thursday night. Authorities said a 3-car trolley was traveling northbound at speeds estimated to nearly 50 miles per hour.10News learned that the trolley operator saw a man crawling on all fours toward the track. He was struck after he stood up on the middle of the track, facing away from the trolley. The trolley came to a stop above the man and he later died. There were about 50 passengers on the trolley at the time of the incident. They were transferred to other cars and brought to San Ysidro, where they continued to their destination. Authorities initially shut down trolley service due to the investigation. As of 4:50 a.m. MTS told 10News the trolley was back in service for both directions. Police are looking into whether drugs or alcohol were factors in the death.

Fares cover more of the cost of operating the San Diego Trolley than any other light rail system in the country, according to a review of federal transit data. For 2010, San Diego MTS collected 54 percent of the cost of operating the trolley through fares, more than double the nationwide average of 24 percent, according to the Federal Transit Administration’s National Transit Database. The light rail portions of Boston’s transit system came in second, with a 49 percent recovery rate, and Philadelphia’s came in third, at 41 percent. The high recovery of operating expenses from fares saves money for taxpayers, who subsidize the remaining costs. MTS spokesman Rob Schupp said one reason for the trolley’s high recovery rate has been its popularity. “The biggest factor of its success has been its ridership,” Schupp said. “When you’re talking about the split of operations between riders and taxpayers, the more riders you have the less taxpayers have to foot the bill.” The trolley’s most popular line is its blue line, which runs between Old Town and the U.S./Mexico border, home to the system’s most popular station. An average of 11,461 trolley riders board at the San Ysidro Station every weekday or about one out of every 10 boardings on the entire system, according to trolley ridership statistics prepared by the San Diego Association of Governments.

The chief executive officer of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System received a $20,000 increase in benefits earlier this month, pushing his total compensation past $429,000 a year. The MTS board voted 11-0 to approve the boost for CEO Paul Jablonski in a private session on March 15, with no public notice beyond saying he was to receive a performance evaluation.

In rail and bus route comparisons with nine peers, including Dallas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Portland, and Phoenix, MTS outperformed them all in categories such as operating cost and subsidy per boarding, operating cost per revenue mile, and farebox recovery ratio (the percentage of operating costs paid by riders’ fares). In the area of on time, safety and rider satisfaction MTS came in last in all measures.

Trolley and bus services record 250,000 trips each day, according to MTS data.

Between 2000 and 2010, there were 311 collisions. About 169 people were injured and 75 people were killed. Police said in most cases, including this one, pedestrians are at fault.

Gangs on the trolley: use caution at all times. avoid sitting next to single young males. watch out and do not get into confrontations.

Due to hanging debris on wire, no Orange Line service btwn Encanto/62nd & Massachussetts stations for next hour. Bus shuttle running instead

Heads up : Orange Line bus bridge between Lemon Grove & Euclid until approx. 7am

Power outage stranded many trolley riders. Most regular riders didn't really notice. Just another day on MTS.

Vintage PCC operation kicks off in San Diego.

Police swarm the Grosmont Trolley station Friday, June 24, 2011. A rider attempts to leave the trolley and the police slam him against a fence and put him in hand cuffs.

Lemon Grove and trolley operators work to unjam traffic.

San Diego streetcar will take a route to the past.

American streets are no place for pedestrians, according to a pair of studies released Tuesday, one local and one national. In “Dangerous by Design 2011,” a periodic review of the most-dangerous cities in the United States for pedestrians, the advocacy coalition Transportation for America contends that proper street design could have prevented many of the 47,700 pedestrian fatalities that occurred between 2000 and 2009. “Safe for All,” from local advocacy group WalkSanDiego, is a call to all of San Diego County’s cities to embrace road designs that make room for pedestrians, bicyclers, public transit and motor vehicles. The report also highlights some cities that are doing it right.

MTS implements service down grades. Policy changes include schedule delays, driver discourtesy and equipment break downs.

Passengers were evacuated Thursday evening when a small electrical fire broke out on the top of an eastbound trolley car at the 70th Street station on Alvarado Road in La Mesa. The fire was reported about 5:18 p.m. in a main breaker on top of a single car, said Rob Schupp, spokesman for the Metropolitan Transit Service. All passengers safely got off the trolley. Passengers were being bused between the Grossmont and San Diego State University stops, he said.

Mapping bike commuters across the country. Census figures say there are 8,263 bicycle commuters in San Diego County and that 1,059, 494 of us drive to work alone. The figures come from the American Community Survey and represent the collected data of the years 2005-2009. The rich data in the survey is offering a wealth of opportunities for data wonks to map for the rest of us using such tools as geocommons. One, John Boyle, has taken the nation's data on commuter bicycling and constructed a map that shows county-by-county how many (really, how few) people actually bike to work. One caution: the biking numbers do not include people who bike to bus, train and trolley stops or who bike to work fewer than three days a week. You can see Boyle's map here and compare San Diego to your favorite counties across the nation. Other nuggets included when you drill down: In San Diego County: 45,987 people use public transit (3.3 percent) and 39,940 walk to work (2.8 percent). The 8,263 intrepid bike commuters represent .06 percent of all commuters.

Trolley Attack Victim Speaks.

MTS officers entered Mexico in fare probe. They were going after "wildcatters" who traffic in illicit trolley tickets. MTS uses two types of security to patrol the trolley lines — fare inspectors, who work for MTS, and security officers who work for a private company MTS contracts with. Gallardo said the lower-paid security guards were sent on the Mexico operation.

To the average citizen riding the trolleys throughout San Diego all would seem like it is business as usual. However, beneath the calm, professional exterior of the Officers who work for Heritage/TSS there is a war going on with their employer Heritage Security. Some months back several Officers who were sick and tired of the low wages and lousy working conditions decided to do something about it and contacted a Union. Not long after that SFPPA filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board requesting to have an election to let the employee's decide if they want to be represented by a union. That's when the fun really started.

Suspicious item prompts bomb scare. Aztec Center, Adams Humanities and the transit center were evacuated.

LA MESA — A driver suffered serious injuries Thursday morning when his vehicle plowed through a chain-link fence and a metal pole pierced through the windshield, striking him in the head, La Mesa police said. The wreckage came to rest on the trolley tracks near Spring Street, disrupting trolley service for about three hours for early morning commuters. The 34-year-old driver, whose name was not released, was exiting onto Spring Street from Interstate 8 about 5:40 a.m. when he hit a curb, went through the fence and landed on the tracks. He was found unconscious and taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital. The cause of the crash is under investigation. Police said there was no immediate indication that drugs or alcohol were involved. The Metropolitan Transit System trolley was not damaged.

MTS Receives $4M In Grants To Upgrade Security. Announcement Comes Hours Before Trolley Shooting.

Trolley service resumes after plane crash. Trolley service resumed in Santee Saturday, three days after a single-engine plane crashed into power lines, according to Metropolitan Transit System officials. Trolley service was suspended about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday when the single- engine Czech Aircraft Works Sportcruiser crashed on Cuyamaca Street, dragging down about 150 feet of power lines from above the light-rail system. The crash also damaged arms that support the cables that transfer electricity to the trolley’s engines. The rental aircraft came to rest upside down, trapping the 79-year-old pilot and sole occupant. It took emergency crews roughly 30 minutes to free the Del Mar man, whose arm was hurt. The agency offered bus service from the Gillespie Field Station to the Green Line’s terminus at the Santee Town Center since the crash. Read more:

Friday, June 04, 2010: Ticket inspection at the Lemon Grove Depot.

Activist: MTS Uniform Color Change 'Insensitive' "MTS is not here to enforce immigration law; it's not here to intimidate people. It's here to simply check for fares," said human rights activist Christian Ramirez.

Weather also disrupted trolley service on two lines during the busy afternoon commute. An overhead electrical line, which powers the trolley, was down on the Blue Line between E and Eighth streets in National City. On the Orange Line, tree limbs fell on electrical lines between the Grossmont and Amaya stations.

Bicyclist killed in trolley crash.

MTS begins expanding camera surveillance at trolley stations.

Faced with a budget gap partly fueled by a drop in ridership, San Diego transit authorities are weighing cuts in Sunday bus service. The number of people riding the bus and trolley has slipped in recent months, including a 16 percent drop from July through September, compared to the same period last year. As a result, MTS officials are projecting a $7.4 million decrease in fare revenue. Paul Jablonski, the agency’s chief executive officer, says the sour economy and weak job market are thinning the ranks of workaday commuters. “I think what we’re seeing is people who worked 40 hours a week now working maybe 24 hours a week,” he said.

Metrolink board delays decision on fare hike after thousands protest. Ridership and ticket revenue on the five-county rail system have tumbled about 15% from last year largely due to job losses across the region and lower gasoline prices that have encouraged more people to drive. Ridership is now below levels of four years ago, officials said. Ticket revenue is forecast to be $7.7 million below what had been planned for in the current year's budget.

Security guard shot in transit station scuffle leaves hospital. The guard was identified as Sam Tavallodi, 29, of Riverside County, sheriff's homicide Lt. Dennis Brugos said. Investigators said Tavallodi and 21-year-old Anthony Garet Wacker got into an argument that escalated into a fight at the transit center Friday night. Tavallodi fired two shots during the struggle; two rounds struck Wacker and one of the rounds also hit the guard's hand, Brugos said. The lieutenant declined to say which hand was shot or the position it was in at the time of the shooting. Wacker died at the scene.

North County riders sing early Compass Card blues. SOFTWARE UPGRADES START TO FIX SOME PROBLEMS.

VISTA: Homicide investigators called to transit center. REPORTS OF ONE DEAD, POSSIBLE SHOOTING.

1 dead in shooting at Vista Transit Center.

Sheriff: Guard kills attacker at Vista transit center.

A parolee who punched a gay teenager on the San Diego Trolley and then stabbed a man who came to the victim’s rescue was sentenced to nine years and eight months in state prison on Friday, Aug. 7. Three days earlier, Bolton had erupted at an 18-year-old man sitting next to his girlfriend, and punched him. A jury in 2009 convicted him of making a criminal threat to the man’s girlfriend, who testified she and her boyfriend got off the trolley because she was terrified as to what Bolton would do.

San Diego gets $72.1 million in stimulus funds for transit upgrades. Money to go to build San Luis Rey transit center and other improvements. Read more:

San Diego Public Transportation Examiner.

San Diego's MTS awarded top honors.

Relatives, friends mourn 4-year-old killed by trolley. Rob Schupp, a spokesman for trolley operator Metropolitan Transit System, expressed regret about the death. But he stressed that people must follow signals at railroad crossings. “Whenever we have a fatality on our system it's a tragedy,” Schupp said. “Our trolley operator sounded the (horn) and hit the emergency stop, but couldn't avoid hitting the bicyclist who had illegally entered the railroad crossing. When the crossing guard arms are down, you must stop.” The collision was being investigated by police and MTS, authorities said. The findings will be turned over to the District Attorney's Office, who could file charges, including a child endangerment charge, against the father.

Bail for trolley shooting suspect set at $1 million.

Security team keeps peace throughout trolley system. Although crime rate rose, it's below levels reported by L.A., Sacramento. The trolley carried a record 36 million passengers last year. Over the same period, MTS reported 124 thefts, 59 robberies and one homicide – a stabbing in September at the Old Town Transit Center. The serious crime rate grew to 0.63 incidents per 100,000 passengers, from 0.47 in 2007. By comparison, the crime rate was 1.18 on the Sacramento light-rail network last year and 1.45 on the Los Angeles system.

A mass transit dilemma: Ridership up, funds down. Public transport systems are reeling from an economic crisis that has dried up tax revenue and blown gaps in state budgets. They are having to raise fares and cut services.,0,282938.story

California's transit troubles. Lawmakers are playing a tax shell game with the state budget that eliminates money for buses and rail.,0,4337031.story

Save the shuttle. Sorrento Valley link crucial to transit network. A popular bus shuttle service that links some of San Diego's premier employers with the commuter train station in Sorrento Valley is in danger of collapse. The situation has reached crisis stage. Lose the shuttle, once serving 1,000 passengers a day, and train commute service will be affected. Impair the popular Coaster commuter train, serving 6,000 a day, and ....Even motorists who never use public transit should care. With its daily passenger load, the Coaster effectively frees up an entire freeway lane on Interstate 5.

Girl, 17, killed at trolley station; suspect held.

The 80-foot solution. How San Diego might finally break out of its trolley deadlock and get back to work.

'It's been a very good ride'. Trolley system's manager retires.

The rules of the rail. Editorial writer Eryn Brown says now that we're using more mass transit, we've got to learn riders' etiquette. Just as using your blinkers and yielding the right of way can make driving more pleasant and efficient, adhering to bus and subway etiquette can make public transportation run more smoothly. On the Metro escalators -- especially the super-long escalators in some Red Line stations -- stand on the right and let pressed-for-time walkers pass on the left. When a bus or train arrives, stand to the side so riders can get off before you get on. Blocking the doors doesn't help anyone. Once you're on a standing-room-only bus, move to the back. Once you're on a train, move away from the doors. Don't block access to seats. Don't put your feet on seats. Don't put your bags on seats. Don't shove. Don't shout. Don't wait until the last possible nanosecond to request your stop on the bus. If you carry a big purse or backpack, don't swing it around. Offer your seat to older riders, disabled riders, tired-looking pregnant women and children.,0,289853.story

Governor hands S.D. $9 million for new buses.

Transit center amenities now facing demolition. June 7, 2008. EL CAJON: Bus and trolley riders who pass through the busy El Cajon Transit Center will soon lose access to the restrooms, concession stand and Greyhound Bus Lines office at the Marshall Avenue hub. That's because the Metropolitan Transit System plans to demolish the building that houses those services in the next several months. There are no immediate plans to rebuild, though the agency's goal is to attract commercial or residential development there. The move troubles some El Cajon city officials, who are worried about the effect on commuters and how the station will look once the building is gone. Those who will feel the change most acutely are the the 8,000 or so people who use the station every day. When the building is leveled, public restrooms will no longer be available. Portable restrooms will be added for employees. Security officers will still be stationed at the site, but without a desk. And Greyhound's ticket office will probably move.MTS officials say the building is beset by structural problems and vandalism. Immediate fixes – replacing the roof, plumbing and electrical wiring and the heating-and-air-conditioning system – would cost nearly $300,000, and the agency doesn't want to invest in a building it will eventually raze. The MTS hopes to spark developer interest in the property, which is about 7 acres, but has no proposals yet. The cost to demolish the building is expected to be about $250,000, said Peter Tereschuck, MTS president and general manager.

2 transit districts to increase fares as fuel costs rise. Trolley, bus, rail riders all affected.

Proposed transit-fare hikes irk commuters, panelists. Complaints vented at SANDAG hearing. Coaster train commuters complained that they would have to pay $1 each way, or $40 a month, on the Sorrento Valley Coaster Connection – shuttles that they now ride for free between the Sorrento Valley station and employment centers. Because most of the funding to operate the shuttle at no charge is drying up, SANDAG is proposing the fare. Combined with a proposed increase of $14 for a monthly Coaster pass, the boosts in train and shuttle fares could add $54 a month to some riders' commutes. “It's going to drive people back to their cars,” said Mike Winter of Oceanside, who works in Sorrento Valley.

Trolley Cops

Lawsuit accuses MTS, security personnel of assault, using excessive force

Man arrested in trolley station takedown shares his story. MTS also released surveillance video of incident.

Trolley cops return to work as contract talks resume.,0,6719982.story

MTS Security Guards Strike Before Chargers Game.

Security team keeps peace throughout trolley system. Although crime rate rose, it's below levels reported by L.A., Sacramento.



Police swarm


bike lockers



Riders decried proposed route cuts and extra fees for a new "flexible" bus service at a public transit hearing Thursday, saying the new plan for North County bus service would leave many with no way to get to vital destinations such as doctors' offices, jobs and shopping. The crowd of speakers, who took nearly every one of about 50 seats in the North County Transit District board's Oceanside meeting room, were commenting on the district's mobility plan, an 88-page document published in February that details a range of additions and subtractions to bus service throughout the region. The transit board is set to approve the plan at its next regular meeting May 19. According to a district presentation made Thursday, the plan improves the frequency of service on 10 North County routes, adds seven routes, cuts nine and adds four "flexible service" areas, where residents can use a "taxilike" service that picks them up at home and takes them where they want to go. The proposed fee for the flexible service would be $5 each way, or $2.50 each way for seniors and riders with disabilities. The majority of those who spoke at Thursday's meeting were seniors and people with disabilities. Many said that they depend on transit service and already pay for a monthly pass, which includes buses and the Sprinter commuter train, that costs $18 for disabled or senior riders and up to $59 for other riders. Adding $5 per round trip to the cost of that monthly pass, many said, would be too much.

Public transit needs money to become all that it can be.

SANDAG eyes help for transit agencies. Board votes to consider range of funding options.

Bus, trolley pass fares may rise. Public hearings will be held next week on proposals to boost bus and trolley pass fares. The San Diego Association of Governments has scheduled two hearings: 9 a.m. Wednesday at the North County Transit District office, 810 Mission Ave., Oceanside; and 9 a.m. Friday at SANDAG headquarters, 401 B St., San Diego. Short of money, the Metropolitan Transit System is proposing to increase the cost of monthly passes. A regular adult pass, for example, would increase to $72 from $68. NCTD is also pursuing fare adjustments.

Trolley, bus service expanded for Chargers game. The round-trip express fare is $10 in exact change. Buses begin boarding two hours before kick-off, with the final bus leaving 45 minutes before the game; post-game buses depart Qualcomm Stadium 20 minutes after the final whistle.

Mass transit fares rising across the board

A regional planning group on Friday adopted a package of fare increases for public transit systems that will be felt from Oceanside to San Ysidro. One-way tickets on the San Diego Trolley will be set at $2.50 for rides of any distance beginning Sept. 1, with the Metropolitan Transit System scrapping a fare structure based on the number of stations traversed. Trips within the downtown area will remain at $1.25.

Day passes for the North County Sprinter train and Breeze buses will go to $4.50 on July 1, a 50-cent increase, while monthly passes will be $59, up $5.

On the Coaster commuter train, one-way cash fares will increase 50 cents. A monthly Coaster pass will be $129 to $168, depending on zones traveled, an increase of $14 to $15.

A ride on the previously free Sorrento Valley Coaster Connection will cost $1 per trip, or $40 for a monthly pass.

The increases were unanimously approved Friday by the board of directors of the San Diego Association of Governments, a panel of elected officials, to help the transit agencies cope with increasing costs.

LA Metro