SANDAG, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), and Caltrans District 11, together with the cities of Chula Vista and San Diego, celebrated the launch of the new South Bay Rapid service between South San Diego County and Downtown San Diego and the opening of the Otay Mesa Transit Center on Jan. 28.
“The opening of the Otay Mesa Transit Center and full launch of the South Bay Rapid are part of broader efforts to enhance regional mobility and foster growth in binational trade,” said Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, SANDAG board of directors chair. “Together with our agency partners, we are working to build upon these efforts through new active transportation improvements like the Border to Bayshore Bikeway and the state Route 11/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry project, which will create a fast, efficient, new state-of-the-art port of entry and secure border crossings for all who travel on both sides of the border.”
Full service began Jan. 27 on the new South Bay Rapid route (route 225). There are 12 stops along the 26-mile route, which operates between the Otay Mesa Transit Center in south San Diego and Downtown San Diego via eastern Chula Vista. South Bay Rapid operates seven days a week from 4:30 a.m. until 11 p.m.
“The start of South Bay Rapid service brings a new and reliable transportation option, connecting south San Diego County communities with major employment and entertainment centers throughout the region,” said San Diego City Council President Georgette Gómez, chair of the MTS board of directors. “The Otay Mesa Transit Center further enhances these transit connections and provides a critical transit link for our binational mega-region.”
The opening of the Otay Mesa Transit Center and launch of South Bay Rapid service builds upon recent border transportation improvements, such as the expansion of the San Ysidro Port of Entry and Cross Border Xpress.
“This new transit center will serve as a gateway between the United States and Mexico,” said SANDAG Borders Committee chair and Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina. “Our community welcomes the addition of the South Bay Rapid route to the regional Rapid transit network, which will link South County residents to the greater San Diego region.”
All of these improvements along the United States/Mexico border help support the binational region’s interconnected economy, as well as San Diego County’s environmental and climate action efforts.
In addition to Mayors Vaus and Dedina and Council President Gómez, Mayor Kevin Faulconer and San Diego Council member Vivian Moreno, Mayor Mary Casillas Salas from the city of Chula Vista, Director Cory Binns from Caltrans District 11, Ambassador Marcela Celorio from the Consul General of Mexico, and Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Alejandra Mier y Teran also were on hand to commemorate the milestone and greet morning commuters.
South Bay Rapid operates daily. For more information on schedules and fares, please visit rapidmts.com.