San Diego County's largest infrastructure project is expected to ease commutes for residents when it opens in 2021 but one part of the project is aimed at helping veterans get around the area.
The Mid-Coast Trolley Expansion project will add nine new Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) Trolley centers and several new bus routes to the region from Old Town to La Jolla, and one of those stops will be called the VA Medical Center Station.
The trolley stop will have direct access to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center located on La Jolla Village Drive west of Interstate 5.
The stop will also be accessible by bus and bike. Bus routes will also stop at the VA Medical Center Station and there will be spots to store bikes.
The Mid-Coast Trolley Expansion project will add another 10.9 miles to the trolley's Blue Line, which means veterans will be connected to several parts of the county, including El Cajon or San Ysidro.
Principal Engineer of the Mid-Coast Trolley Project, Sharon Humphreys, says the stop will allow veterans to get the care they need.
"The VA is constructing the new spinal treatment hospital in that location. Being able to get people there on the trolley is going to be one of the ways that we can get our veterans treated,” Humphreys said.
The entire expansion project, which is estimated to cost $2.17 billion, should be completed by Fall 2021. The project hit its halfway point in late March.
The route will add service from Old Town north to the University City community, serving Mission Bay Park, the VA Medical Center, UC San Diego, and University Town Center.
The San Diego Association of Governments told NBC 7 the expansion of mass transit in this part of the county is necessary because studies show the population will grow by 19 percent in the corridor by 2030.
A large chunk of the funding for this project came from TransNet, the half-cent sales tax approved by voters. TransNet will also provide operating funds for the Mid-Coast Trolley through 2048.