Transit Leap

The Transit Leap will create a complete network of high-speed, high-capacity, frequent transit services that connect major residential areas with employment centers and local attractions. These connections will be made at Mobility Hubs, with links to supporting Flexible Fleet networks. New high-speed services – covering longer distances with limited stops – may be separated from vehicle traffic with a combination of bridges, tunnels, or dedicated lanes. Improvements to existing services, such as the Trolley, COASTER, SPRINTER, and Rapid may include adding tracks to the rail lines, more frequent service, dedicated transit lanes, and traffic signal priority to keep transit moving quickly. 

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

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 employment and residential centers with more service frequency and capacity.

  • 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 dedicated lanes, signal priority during peak travel hours, and grade-separated routes using bridges and tunnels will improve travel times and reliability of service.

  • More personalized services

    A greater variety of vehicle types and services will accommodate various types of trips and attract new riders. 

  • Better integration

    Improved integration with other services will enable more closely timed connections with minimal transfers. 

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

Transit Leap

Anticipated Benefits

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

  • Congestion relief

    Investing in new transit and improving the convenience of existing services has been shown to increase overall transit ridership. Regions that have made significant investments in high-frequency transit that serving 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 transit ridership. 

  • Faster transit travel times

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

  • Reduced air pollution

    With more people who would otherwise drive along choosing transit, vehicle miles traveled will decrease and greenhouse gas emissions will decline throughout the San Diego region.

  • Economic benefits

    Transit investments are good for the local economy, in part because a shift from driving to transit reduces household transportation costs. Local investments in public transportation will yield a 2-to-1 economic return, while helping to generate income for local businesses, workers, and neighborhoods, according to research by the American Public Transportation Association. 

  • Reduced demand for parking
    Increased transit ridership reduces the need for parking. As a result, parking lots and spots can be repurposed for other forms of public use, including affordable housing, high-occupancy vehicle and bike lanes, and 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.