Tuesday, November 21, 2017

SANDAG completes $28M in OTC improvements

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Improvements made to the Oceanside Transit Center will improve the efficiency and on-time performance of the station’s transit operations by adding a third track, which allows for an additional train to move through the station when two trains are boarding passengers. Improvements made to the Oceanside Transit Center will improve the efficiency and on-time performance of the station’s transit operations by adding a third track, which allows for an additional train to move through the station when two trains are boarding passengers. SANDAG

The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and the North County Transit District (NCTD) have expanded the Oceanside Transit Center (OTC) to increase train capacity.

The expansion boosts the number of trains that can board passengers simultaneously and will enable freight trains to pass through the station while passengers are boarding, SANDAG said. Construction on the project began in June of 2016.

Passengers can now board the COASTER commuter train, Metrolink and Amtrak Pacific Surfliner at the same time, which officials said will reduce the amount of idle trains outside the station and enhance regional transit service.

Oceanside Deputy Mayor Chuck Lowery greeted passengers the morning of Nov. 20 and answered questions about the new improvements.

"Our transit center is one of the busiest in the state serving more than 220 trains and buses a day," Lowery said. "We are reducing travel times by improving system reliability and the efficiency of freight movement, which in turn reduces car and truck traffic on Interstate 5. This is a step in the right direction for each one of us: cleaner air, less traffic and more travel options."

About $21 million in funding for the project was provided by TransNet, the regional half-cent sales tax that goes toward transportation. The remaining funds were provided by the Federal Transit Administration and through federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.

The completed improvements include:

  • Level boarding for the north platform, allowing disabled riders to board easily without special assistance
  • Customer amenities, including new shelters, seating and electronic signs displaying real-time arrivals and departures
  • New crossovers, giving trains the ability to move from one track to another to improve operations
  • A new 1,000-foot-long boarding platform to the south, which includes new benches, shade canopies, trash receptacles, directional signage, public address system and platform safety lighting
  • A third rail track in the center of the railroad right-of-way to decrease train idling
  • Extension of an existing eastern-most boarding platform by 600 feet to the north toward Mission Avenue

As one of the busiest transit centers in the San Diego region, the OTC serves as a hub for bus, train, taxi and ride hailing services, officials said.

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