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Online tool allows public to prioritize projects that will enhance the transit network

Watch the Vision Builder Challenge video!

East County News Service

October 20, 2019 (San Diego) -  The public has a unique opportunity to submit their vision for the future of transit in San Diego through an online tool called the Vision Builder Challenge.

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) is hosting the Vision Builder Challenge as part of Elevate SD 2020 – the agency’s public engagement effort for a potential transit-only revenue measure for voters to consider on the November 2020 ballot. Ultimately the MTS Board of Directors will decide whether to move forward with a measure in early 2020.

“Over the past 18 months MTS has been studying the current transportation landscape, developing planning scenarios and implementing a broad community engagement effort,” said Paul Jablonski, MTS chief executive officer. “We’ve learned a lot from residents about their transportation challenges and the need for immediate solutions. We have some innovative ideas forming about how we can do all this. The Vision Builder is the next step of public engagement and will help us formulate a package of transit improvements for our Board to consider early next year.”

The Vision Builder is designed to give participants the power to create their own vision for the future of transit in San Diego.

Here’s how it works (it’s like online shopping):

  • There is a total budget of 1,000 coins
  • Estimated coin values have been assigned to  17 different project concepts
  • Each project has a description page with pros and cons, and intensity scores for carbon emissions reductions and ridership estimates
  • Desired projects can be selected and added to a virtual shopping cart
  • When satisfied with a project list, participants can submit their vision for transit’s future

Some of the projects the public can choose from include (but not limited to):

  • Trolley to the Airport
  • Purple Line Trolley (a new line between the border and Kearny Mesa)
  • 24-hour service
  • New Freeway Transit Connections
  • Improve Security
  • Balboa Ave. to the Beach
  • On Demand Transit
  • More Rapid Bus Service
  • Security
  • And more! 

MTS staff will be at 13 different transit centers over the next 30 days promoting the tool, and the agency is offering those that submit a transit plan the chance to win free transit for a year to encourage participation. Submissions will be accepted through November 30. The Vision Builder’s project concept list was created after a robust community engagement process by MTS that included input from a Community Advisory Committee, industry-specific working groups, workshops, townhalls and community outreach events. Guiding principles being used for the project concepts include:

  • Provide better access to jobs/education for disadvantaged neighborhoods
  • Improve access for seniors and people with disabilities
  • Utilize existing infrastructure to make immediate improvements
  • Be time-competitive with the auto
  • Provide fast and dependable service for “choice” and “dependent” riders
  • Longer-term high-investment infrastructure
  • Further reduce carbon emissions

MTS operates 95 bus routes and three Trolley lines on 53 miles of double-tracked railway. Every weekday more than 300,000 passenger trips are taken on MTS bus and Trolley services in 10 cities and the county. In FY 2018, MTS served more than 86 million riders. For more information on how you can use public transportation and save money, go to

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