North County Coaster Rail Service to Extend Significantly in October

A Coaster train crosses the lagoon south of Del Mar. Photo courtesy of the North County Transit District

The North County Transit District Board of Directors approved an increase in the frequency of Coaster rail service starting in October, it was announced on Friday.

The approval, which follows public comment at a series of town halls and open houses, will add new weekday and weekend trips to the Coaster program.

“The increase in Coaster service gives travelers along the I-5 corridor more transit options to reach destinations between Oceanside and downtown San Diego,” said Tony Kranz, Chairman of the Board. of the NCTD and Deputy Mayor of Encinitas. “More travel means more opportunities to take Coaster to work or school, access healthcare, shop, meet friends and family, enjoy our beautiful beaches and much more. Moreover.”

The Coaster service change includes:

  • Increase in the number of daily trips during the week from 22 to 30
  • Increase in the number of daily trips on Fridays in summer from 26 to 32
  • Increase in the number of daily trips on Friday winter from 22 to 32
  • Increase in the number of daily trips on Saturdays in summer from 12 to 20
  • Increase the number of daily trips on winter Saturdays from eight to 20
  • Increased number of daily Sunday trips from eight to 20
  • Modification of journey times to fill existing service gaps
  • Modified Sorrento Valley Coaster Connection service during weekday peak hours and added Breeze bus rides to Poinsettia Station as a pilot program to connect with Coaster during peak hours

The Expanded Coaster Service is fully funded by TransNet, the county-wide half-cent sales tax for transportation projects administered by the Association of San Diego Governments.

“This increase in service for our transit partners is a great example of what we can do today to make transit a more convenient option,” said SANDAG President and Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear. “The goal of SANDAG’s draft regional plan 2021, the blueprint for the future of transport, is to create a faster, fairer and cleaner transport system for everyone in the region, today and in the future. the future. “

In 2004, voters in San Diego County approved the increase in Coaster service as part of the passage of the TransNet extension voting measure, which included specific language calling for more service on the coastal rail line. .

Since then, SANDAG has leveraged TransNet to leverage additional state and federal funds for approximately 18 completed projects aimed at improving the capacity of commuter trains along the corridor through dual track and other improvements. NCTD also recently received five new locomotives and is in the process of renovating all passenger cars with new upholstered seats, carpeted floors, LED lighting, exterior color scheme and charging equipment at some seats.

Four new locomotives and eleven additional passenger cars are expected by June 2023.

–City news service

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