On Friday, September 10, I had the priviledge to be one of the first riders on the new UC San Diego Blue Line Trolley extension. Work is still ongoing at stations, but the trolley extension is on schedule to open to the public on November 21, 2021. When two new stations open on campus, the university will be connected like never before.
The Blue Line will provide direct access to campus for students and employees who live throughout the region. Many will be grateful for this convenient, safe and affordable alternative to driving to campus. Currently, 60% of our faculty, staff and students use alternative transportation for their daily commute. We expect this percentage to increase when the trolley opens.
The Blue Line also opens direct travel to the border. This will strengthen our ties with our educational institutions and partners in Mexico. It will support our student-run free health clinic in Tijuana. And it will open access to our cross-border Community Stations.
Early next year, UC San Diego will also open a new downtown site on the Blue Line, at Park and Market. UC San Diego Park & Market will offer a mix of public, meeting, arts and educational spaces for civic engagement, learning, collaboration, and cultural experiences unique to our region and communities.
I welcome everyone, not just students and employees, to ride the Blue Line to visit UC San Diego. Take advantage of public lectures, visual and performing arts, Triton Athletic events, the Birch Aquarium and more. Shop and dine, see the public art of the Stuart Collection, or just take a walk on our beautiful campus.
The trolley brings San Diegans closer together. And soon it will bring visitors directly to the region’s premier destination for students, patients and the public. We look forward to making many new connections.