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San Diego Online News Association (SDONA)

By Chris Jennewein , originally published in Times of San Diego

Photo by Chris Jennewein

October 12, 2014 (San Diego)--San Diego transit and planning agencies on Thursday  celebrated completion of the $44 million Mid-City Rapid project, which starting Sunday will provide fast bus service between San Diego State University and downtown San Diego.

The new service, Rapid 215, will provide all day, every day service at a 10-minute frequency during the peak periods. It will be faster than regular buses because of transit signal priority, transit-only lanes, and custom-designed stations.

Rapid 215 is part of a growing network of high-frequency, limited-stop services that SANDAG, the county’s regional planning agency, is building in partnership with the Metropolitan Transit System and other local agencies.

Dedicated lanes built in the center median of Park Boulevard between University Avenue and El Cajon Boulevard are the first in the City of San Diego. Other improvements include new curb ramps, sidewalks, next vehicle arrival signs, and curb pop-outs that allow transit vehicles to easily merge back into traffic.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer is scheduled to cut a ribbon in front of a new station Thursday afternoon. Service will begin Sunday with free rides all day.

The fare for Rapid 215 will be $2.25 one way or $5 for a 1-day pass that enables transfers to other Rapid routes, MTS bus services, and the trolley. A monthly transit pass is $72 for adults, $36 for youth, and $18 for seniors.

A growing number of cities are investing in bus rapid transit systems which utilize special lanes and other technology to speed service.

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