What is MTS rapid route? Free bus ride in San Diego

MTS is offering free ‘Rapid’ rides through October

SAN DIEGO — As of Sunday, you may see a fleet of 60-foot electric buses operating in the South Bay.

The Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) has officially launched its Rapid service — a first-of-its kind resource that’s part of the agency’s efforts to transition to an all zero-emissions bus fleet by 2040.

Not only are the buses efficient for clean energy operations, but they are also providing quicker routes for the communities of Otay Mesa, Nestor and Imperial Beach.

According to MTS, thousands of daily pedestrians crossing from the Otay Mesa Port of Entry will now be able to walk directly to the Otay Mesa Transit Center and travel to Imperial Beach on Rapid 227 in 40 minutes or less.

On top of that, the route will feature limited stops (10), and will offer a connection from the border to the UC San Diego Blue Line via the Iris Avenue Transit Center in just 15 minutes.

Service will run every 15 minutes or better throughout most of the day, according to MTS.

“Rapid 227 means better bus service for South Bay and binational commuters. With the launch of Rapid 227, MTS will offer more than 600 extra hours of service between the border and Imperial Beach when compared to existing service,” said Stephen Whitburn, chair of MTS and San Diego City Council Member for District 3. “The route will also feature new, cleaner, quieter electric buses.

To celebrate the launch of the new service, MTS says Rapid 227 will be free to ride from Sunday, Oct. 15 through Tuesday, Oct. 31.

The complete Rapid 227 project is expected to be fully completed by 2024. MTS says it will feature new stations and amenities, a traffic signal at Coronado Avenue/30th Street, and further improvements at Iris Avenue Transit Center.

“Sustainable transit initiatives like Rapid 227 allow for binational riders to explore all that San Diego has to offer in a sustainable and greener method of transit,” said Whitburn.

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