Taking MTS to Work: Does it work for your commute?
CHULA VISTA (KUSI) – San Diego City leaders want more San Diegans to utilize public transportation for their commutes to work.
Leaders at SANDAG and MTS are looking for more funding to improve the use of public transportation throughout San Diego County, but is traveling on public transit efficient for all San Diegans?
Wednesday morning, KUSI’s Hunter Sowards tested out our city’s public transportation and we followed her throughout her journey with live updates on Good Morning San Diego.
Hunter started at the E Street Transit Center in Chula Vista, and experienced first hand what it takes to make it to the KUSI studio in Kearny Mesa, a major business district in our city. KUSI Digital Content Manager, Mike McKinnon III, dropped off Hunter and Photographer Scott Nunes at the transit station and drove back to KUSI so we could compare both travel times.
Upon arriving at the E Street Transit Center, Hunter went live on Facebook while she attempted to buy day passes at one of the kiosks. The simple event turned comical when the machine we used refused three different credit cards and cash. We found out shortly after that the machine hasn’t been working for a few days and then notified MTS of the issue. You can watch it here.
Hunter’s first live update on Good Morning San Diego previewed her upcoming trip. The MTS Trip Planner estimated her trip to be just over one hour in length from the E Street Transit Center to KUSI. After this update, Hunter departed on the trolley at 7:40 AM and got off at the City College trolley station in Downtown San Diego.
Once she arrived in downtown, Hunter gave us another update on her travels. Her next step would be to walk to a bus stop about a minute away.
On the second bus, Hunter spoke with Raul, an almost daily rider, who takes transit to work multiple times per week. Raul said the locations of the stations are conveniently close to his destination. Mike McKinnon III arrived at the KUSI studios 48-minutes after leaving the E Street Transit Center in Chula Vista. Navigation guided him on sideroads, avoiding the bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Northbound I-15.
McKinnon noted that the initial distance going north on the I-5 from the transit center to the I-15 was the most congested part. It took him 20-minutes to get onto the I-15 from the transit center. Many people who were getting on the trolley in Chula Vista worked downtown and described this very reason as to why they choose the trolley for their daily commute downtown.
Then, we checked in with Hunter Sowards one more time as her second and final bus arrived to her location. Her final bus ride was around 15-minutes long. She told KUSI’s Paul Rudy and Lauren Phinney that taking transit was feasible for some, depending on the location of their office and/or work site. On the other hand, the commute on transit from Chula Vista to the Kearny Mesa area was too time consuming for a daily commute.
But her trip is not over yet! Hunter Sowards and photographer Scott Nunes were on the correct bus, but missed their stop. If you don’t know, not all the stops are automatic. If no one pulls the request cord, and no one is waiting at the stop, the bus continues on the route.
And finally, just before Good Morning San Diego ended, KUSI’s Hunter Sowards arrived at the KUSI studio. Hunter and Mike joined Paul Rudy and Lauren Phinney on set to detail the routes they took.