In late January, regional leaders unveiled the South Bay Rapid, a new $139 million bus project that would take riders from Otay Mesa to downtown through eastern Chula Vista with the help of dedicated roadways, and bus stations that look like trolley stations. Since the bus would run more frequently than local buses, the hope was it would be more convenient and attract new riders.
Three months in, that hasn’t happened.
The bus, which operates as the 225 bus, is drawing roughly 1,500 riders a day, up from 1,200 a day at the beginning of March.
But that’s way behind expectations, as years ago regional leaders expected that it could generate 4,500 riders a day in its first year and as much as 12,000 a day in later years, as the region continues to develop.
Andrew Keatts breaks down the disappointing figures in a new story. MTS acknowledged that ridership is below what it hoped, but thinks a few additional improvements at the beginning of next year will help.
And two local transit experts suggested another way to make the bus faster and more reliable, and therefore more attractive: make way for dedicated bus lines on Broadway downtown, where many bus lines already converge only to deal with the same congestion that drivers have to deal with.
The Poway Shooting Was a Terrorist Attack
VOSD editor Scott Lewis writes in a news analysis that thinking about the shooter accused of opening fire at the Chabad of Poway synagogue as a lone wolf is misguided. Rather, he was part of a network of terrorists united in believing that the white race is superior and under grave threat:
It is an active network of men refining a coherent ideology. They are using the internet to distribute it. Just like ISIS, this network of terrorists does not need to train and radicalize its adherents in foreign lands and smuggle them to countries they target.
Unlike ISIS, though, these men march in our streets. Their fears about what immigrants are doing to this country are openly embraced at the highest levels.
- U.S. Attorney Bob Brewer announced Thursday that the alleged shooter, who’s also accused of setting fire to an Escondido mosque, has been charged on 109 new criminal counts in federal court, NBC San Diego reports.
In Other News
- The San Diego Unified School District paid $375,000 to settle claims that it fired an in-house investigator for trying flag a principal’s potential mishandling of student sexual assault cases. The principal was eventually transferred after allegedly covering up sexual abuse at Green Elementary School and was made a “principal on special assignment” by the district. (Union-Tribune)
- La Mesa Councilman Colin Parent, who runs the transit advocacy group Circualte San Diego was a guest this week on Talking Headways, a national public transit podcast, where he talked about how San Diego’s housing crisis has pushed Mayor Kevin Faulconer to try to slash parking requirements to spur housing development.
- Cory Briggs, the public interest attorney and candidate for mayor, has sued to block that plan to slash parking requirements. (Union-Tribune)
- Solana Beach voters may have rejected a zoning change to allow an apartment complex for seniors to be built in town. (Del Mar Times)
- The SeaWorld gondola ride that stranded passengers remains offline. (Union-Tribune)
- Only in Coronado: A 53-page lawsuit argues that City Council shenanigans are keeping a tree from being cut down. (Coronado Times)
The Morning Report was written by Ry Rivard and Andrew Keatts, and edited by Sara Libby.