Transit Leap

The Transit Leap will create a complete network of high-speed and high-capacity transit services that connect the region’s major residential and employment centers and regional attractions. These connections will be made at Mobility Hubs with links to supporting networks of transportation routes and services.

New high-speed services covering longer distances with limited stops may be separated from vehicle traffic by a combination of bridges, tunnels, or dedicated lanes. Improvements and enhancements to existing transit services – such as the Trolley, COASTER, SPRINTER, and Rapid – could include double and triple tracking the rail lines, more frequent service, fixed guideways, dedicated lanes, and signal priorities to keep transit moving quickly.

Transit Leap investments will complement Complete Corridors by connecting where people live (population centers) with key destinations, like employment centers, universities, business districts, and regional attractions.

Download an informational flier about the Transit Leap (English | Español).
View the 5 Big Moves glossary of terms (English | Español). 

Transit Leap
Transit Leap Webinar

On July 10, 2019, SANDAG hosted a webinar to unpack the Transit Leap with industry experts Katie Chalmers from King County Metro and Ben Porritt from Virgin Trains. View the webinar recording and learn how a variety of transit services, from high-speed transit to autonomous buses, can work together to provide fast, reliable, personalized, and efficient transit choices. Closed captions are available in English and Spanish. 

View responses to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from this webinar and learn more about the 5 Big Moves webinar series.

  • High-speed transit

    New high-speed transit lines that connect major hubs with high-capacity, high-frequency transit services that are better connected to major employment centers and residential centers.

  • Expanded service times

    More frequent service that starts earlier and runs later in the day will provide more convenient options to serve more riders.

  • Transit priority

    The addition of tunnels, grade separation, dedicated lanes, and signal priority during peak travel hours will improve travel times and reliability.

  • More personalized services

    A greater variety of vehicle types and services would attract new riders and accommodate various trip types.

  • Better integration

    Improved integration with other services enables better timed connections with limited transfers.

  • Transition to electric or alternative fuels
    New and existing services will transition to electric or alternative fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


Anticipated Benefits

The Transit Leap will provide an efficient transit system – with real transit choices that offer viable alternatives to driving for most trips – for people traveling to work, school, errands, or entertainment.

  • Congestion relief

    Investing in new transit and improving the convenience and availability of existing services has been shown to increase overall transit ridership. Regions that have made significant investments in high-frequency transit that serves population and job centers have seen fewer people driving and more people taking transit. For example, Seattle, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Las Vegas, and Pittsburgh all saw increases in bus ridership between 2017-2018 after making significant improvements to their bus networks.

  • Faster transit travel times

    New and enhanced high-speed services, along with better connections to other services, will provide travel options that are competitive with driving.

  • Reduced air pollution

    Shifting some single occupant drivers to transit and shared mobility will lead to fewer vehicle miles traveled and reduce air pollution throughout the San Diego region.

  • Economic benefits

    A shift from driving to transit reduces household transportation costs, and transit investments are good for the local economy. According to the American Public Transit Association, based on their research in three cites (Silicon Beach, CA; Austin, TX; and Durham, NC), investments in public transportation will yield a 2-to-1 return, while helping to generate income for local businesses, workers, and neighborhoods.

  • Reduced demand for parking
    Increased transit ridership reduces the need for parking, which enables parking lots and spots to be repurposed for other forms of public use, such as HOV and bike lanes, or wider sidewalks.

Success Stories and Related Links

  • Following continued investment in bus and light rail service that offer riders frequent and reliable travel options, the greater Seattle area led the nation’s highest growth in people choosing transit, adding 4.7 million trips in 2017 to reach an all-time record of 191.7 million trips. Only 25% of morning commuters to downtown Seattle now report that they drive alone; the other 75% take buses and trains, vanpool, bike, walk, or telecommute, according to the 2017 Commute Seattle survey.

  • Opened in 2018, high-speed train services along Florida’s east coast reduced travel time between Miami and Tampa by up to 50%. The 30-minute train ride between Miami and Fort Lauderdale can take up to one hour by car, and the 60-minute train service between Miami and West Palm Beach can take up to two hours by car.