After announcing Friday my plans to hit the road, I’ve had a bunch of great questions and comments come my way. I put a couple of those to Luis Gonzalez, a spokesman for MTS. Here are some:
Glenn Stokes from San Diego told me about an e-mail conversation he’s had with a trolley official who told him this idea is under review:
The Green line from Santee would not stop at Old Town but will go all the way thru stopping at Santa Fe station, Sea Port Village station, Convention Center station, and Gaslamp Station to the Imperial and 12th Street terminal where it will terminate and then reverse direction and go back to Santee. …
This will require major renovation of several trolley stations so that the newer Green Line cars can be used along between the Old Town and Imperial stations.
I checked in with Gonzalez, who told me a bit more about those necessary renovations. The trains that are used on the Green Line (which opened in 2005) are new, low-floor trains called S-70s, Gonzalez said. Before those train cars could go to the stations currently used by the Blue Line or the Orange Line, built in the 1980s and 1990s, the platforms for the train would have to be adjusted to meet those car heights.
“We’re looking to develop our whole system,” Gonzalez said. “We start working on improvements section by section, and putting in the Green Line recently allowed us to use those new trains that made it really easy for somebody in a wheelchair to use.”
Here’s another comment, from reader Walt Brewer:
It takes a Manhattan population density of about 50,000 per sq mile to justify the kind of transit service people like in New York City. San Diego’s density is less than 4,000. How many want the Manhattan density to justify transit?
Luis Gonzalez pointed out that San Diego is laid out entirely differently than the grid-style urban center of New York.
“Our layout as a city is entirely different than New York,” he said. “You have people who live in Chula Vista and need to work in Kearny Mesa or downtown.”
“In New York, everything is so connected,” he said. “We don’t have that luxury here. It’s not only the population aspect of it; it’s the way the city is laid out.”
He said he was glad to hear I’ve been getting so many responses — it’s the public understanding of transit that will make it possible to fund new developments, he said.
“If more people were to use public transit, more people were to highlight it, we can develop it more,” he said. “People need to start getting vocal. Even if you’re not using our system, we’re still helping you out some.”
Reader Lee Van Ham chimed in:
Agree! San Diego needs to invest in public transit so that we can use it. I’m happy to leave my car at home every chance I can take a bus. But the chances aren’t very good. Having lived in Chicago, SD’s transit system is disappointing and not reflecting the new consciousness of fossil fuels [sic] impact on survivability on our planet.
Monday, March 26 — 3:21 p.m.