Monday, March 18, 2013

Express buses or light rail for North San Diego County?

(3/18/13) – IE Transit Talking Points Short
 
Down south, with the Sprinter train service suspended, early reports are showing that NCTD’s replacement bus service is costing NCTD far less money and transporting some passengers faster than the rail line did. So, should the Sprinter be permanently replaced by a fleet of express buses? Not quite. The reports are certainly questionable. 

For instance, the Sprinter would easily outrun the Route 620 express buses during peak congestion along the 78 Freeway. Ridership impacts have not been factored; has transit ridership decreased along the corridor since NCTD suspended the Sprinter? Also, Route 620 bypasses several intermediate Sprinter stops which are connected by local bus routes, thus giving the bus route a fast turnaround. However to be fair, given its fast travel time during off-peak times between Vista and Oceanside, Route 620 could serve as a productive permanent express line between Oceanside, Vista and Escondido in the future while the Sprinter provides the local rail service. Transit officials have some work to do to improve mobility for the Oceanside-to-Escondido transportation corridor.

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