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The Golden Triangle is going through a period of tremendous growth! Nearly 50 major public, private and transportation infrastructure projects are underway or planned over the next five years. The Shift team is here to help mitigate the impact of possible challenges created by construction and provide transportation choices to make it easier to get around. Check out the shift blog to stay up-to-date on the latest Golden Triangle transportation resources and experiences from commuters, residents and families in this area.

    Discover a new way to get around the Mid-Coast Trolley Construction
    by Shift San Diego | Apr 24, 2017

    Pedestrian Bridge Demolition. Photo credit: Moises Peña, MCTC

    Construction activities for the Mid-Coast Trolley extension continue in the University City area, along Genesee Avenue and at UC San Diego (UCSD).  This month crews demolished and permanently removed the pedestrian bridge at Executive Square and Genesee Avenue and installed a new temporary pedestrian crossing at the street level. Eventually this will be replaced by the new Executive Drive Station, which will also serve as a pedestrian crossing.

    Rendering of Executive Drive Station.

    This spring, crews will be preparing the roadway for construction of the viaduct - a bridge structure that will carry the trolley down the middle of Genesee Avenue. Crews will start widening southbound Genesee Avenue to relocate utilities, constructing the viaduct on the UCSD Campus, and working on the Gilman Drive Bridge structure. During this time, there will be ongoing, intermittent closures of on- and off- ramps and lanes at the La Jolla Village Drive exit on Interstate5. For more information or to sign up for project updates, please visit

    During construction, there may be times when it might be easier to take an alternative route to work. Make sure to check out the Shift interactive map to access real-time traffic information. You can view which routes are free-flowing and which are congested to help you plan your commute. Also, use the trip planner to compare alternative commutes, such as carpool, vanpool, transit, bike or walk. Enter your origin and destination in the trip planner, press the “Let`s Go” button, and discover a new way to get around.

    Apr 24, 2017
    Mobile Ticketing Has Arrived with Compass Cloud
    by Shift San Diego | Apr 14, 2017

    MTS and NCTD are changing the way San Diego moves with the Compass Cloud. The new smartphone app is making it easier to purchase transit passes on the go. Here’s what’s new with the app:

    • Purchase one-day and 30-day passes right from your smartphone by using your credit, debit, prepaid debit card, or PayPal account. The app saves your payment information so getting more passes on the go is a snap.
    • Use passes immediately after making a payment using the Compass Cloud.
    • Stock up on passes and activate as you need them or ride with friends and family with the Multiple Riders option.

    The Compass Cloud tickets are accepted everywhere your Compass Card is - MTS Bus, Rapid and Trolley and NCTD BREEZE, SPRINTER and COASTER.

    To learn how to use the Compass Cloud, click here.

    For more info on the Compass Cloud and to read frequently asked questions, click here.


    Apr 14, 2017
    A Sunset Commute
    by Shift San Diego | Apr 03, 2017

    Debra is a newcomer to her alternative commute. She takes the COASTER from her home in San Marcos to get to her work site at Illumina. Her daily commute as a solo driver can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. On days when she can ride the COASTER, her commute is approximately 20 minutes and is less stressful. Through her change in commute just six months ago, she has traveled almost 1,600 miles using the COASTER, which equates to 800 pounds of CO2 reduced and savings of over $200. Read about her experience of how she got started.

    Q: What motivates you to commute alternatively?
    A: I’m motivated to take alternative transportation to save wear on my car, save money on gas, and avoid the stress of traffic.

    Q: How did you get started?
    A: A family member shared the information with me and then I took the train. It was super easy and convenient.

    Q: How often do you commute alternatively?
    A: I try to as much as possible. I currently average about 3 times a week and I work remotely one day a week as well.

    Q: What do you like about your alternative commute?
    A: You can enjoy the view, read, and relax at the end of the day.

    Q: What is the most challenging part your alternative commute?
    A: When there is bad weather like rain, it can be really challenging to find cover at the train station. There are rare occasions when the trains shut down as well.

    Q: How does your company support your alternative commute?
    A: They provide the opportunity to pay for transportation with pre‐tax dollars and also offer complimentary shuttles to and from the coaster station. They also have raffles and social media for commuter groups.

    Q: What advice do you have for people who want to try an alternative commute?
    A: Don’t be afraid to try it. It’s really easy and convenient.

    Q: What are the benefits of your alternative commute?
    A: Less stress!

    Q: With your choice to use the COASTER when you can for your commute, you`ve been able to save over $200 in the last 6 months. What do you plan to do with these unexpected savings?
    A: While it’s always nice to buy something for yourself, I plan to save the money for a rainy day.

    Q: Describe an enjoyable experience of your alternative commute.
    A: Recently on a ride home, we got to see a beautiful sunset from the window. It was gorgeous. We also saw the red brake lights of traffic on the other side and we were glad to not be stuck in bumper to bumper traffic!

    Take it from her and try a different commute to work. Use the trip planner to compare different commutes from Point A to Point B and figure out what might be best for your new commute.



    Apr 03, 2017
    A Rideshare Commitment Lasting 30 Years and Counting
    by Shift San Diego | Feb 23, 2017

    Meet Sandra. Sandra was honored at a vanpool appreciation breakfast event for being the longest serving vanpool driver at UC San Diego. She has been vanpooling since 1985,the same year Dionne Warwick’s hit song, “That’s What Friends Are For,” went to number 1. At the time, little did Sandra know that her commitment to vanpooling would allow her to make friends and build lasting relationships all over UC San Diego. 

    Sandra started vanpooling soon after seeing some flyers for vanpool riders around the campus. She was traveling from Poway to work and was motivated to save wear and tear on her car. With a vanpool, she and her fellow riders save approximately 90 minutes of commuting each day by selecting an early time to meet up each day.

    Sandra shares some additional benefits of being in a vanpool, “I have built multiple friendships with other riders and it’s a great way to learn about what’s going on at different departments. As an added bonus – riders don’t have the stress of the daily traffic and can get re-energized in the afternoon by taking a nap,” shares Sandra.

    Over the years, Sandra became the vanpool driver for the group because she loves to drive. She used to operate a 12-15 passenger van, but now drives an 8-passenger van. She is the primary driver for her group 5 days a week.

    She loves the camaraderie of her vanpool and shares an important rule for their group that has worked for them. “A top rule is to be civil to one another. I am very fortunate because our group is pleasant and respects each other. We have a great vanpool dynamic.”

    Take it from Sandra,Join a vanpool to relieve traffic congestion, stress, carbon emissions, etc.”

    As one of the largest employer vanpool programs in San Diego County –with 58 vanpools - you can say that UC San Diego staff are fans of vans. A round of applause to her and UC San Diego.

    For more information about vanpooling, visit:

    For real-time traffic and construction information in the Golden Triangle, visit:

    For those who are already using an alternative commute to get to work, like vanpooling, make sure to sign-up for the Guaranteed Ride Home Program here:


    Feb 23, 2017
    Share Your Input on Mobility Hubs at Mid-Coast Trolley Stations
    by Shift San Diego | Feb 14, 2017

    SANDAG recently initiated the Mid-Coast Corridor Mobility Hub Implementation Strategy, a study that will identify ways to potentially improve connections to Mid-Coast Trolley stations, making transit a more attractive and convenient option for nearby residents and employees. The study is being conducted as a separate effort from Mid-Coast Trolley construction, thanks in part to a federal planning grant.

    Three public meetings were held in January to obtain input on various mobility services and amenities that could be incorporated in and around the Mid-Coast Trolley stations. Three additional public meetings will be held in February, in conjunction with community planning groups in the corridor. Join us at the Old Town Planning Group, Midway-Pacific Highway Planning Group, or the University Community Planning Group this month to learn more and tell us what you think.

    Can’t attend a meeting? Take our interactive online survey. (Participe en la encuesta interactiva en lÍnea y comparta sus opiniones.)

    Mobility hubs feature a range of transportation services and amenities that better connect transit to where people live, work, and play. They are places where different travel options — walking, biking, ridesharing, and transit — come together seamlessly. Supporting technologies like real-time travel information, electric vehicle charging stations, and improved trip planning and payment options offer added convenience for users.

    For additional information about the Mid-Coast Trolley project, visit



    Feb 14, 2017
    The Shift We Are Making Together
    by Shift San Diego | Jan 10, 2017

    As the new year begins, we want to thank each and every one of you for trying an alternative commute and sharing your story about your commuter experience. The Shift Insider blog was a new feature integrated into Shift San Diego that brings together the community with a shared vision to reduce congestion, improve the work commute, and help the environment.

    A special thanks to those who participated in our blog in 2016:

    Savannah at Covance Laboratories

    Alexandria Real Estate Equities


    Vertex Pharmaceuticals

    Henry at Howard Hughes Medical Institute


    Scripps Health

    John at American Diabetes Association

    Kathleen at Texas Instruments

    We look forward to sharing more commuter stories, project highlights and transportation resources in 2017. Cheers!


    Jan 10, 2017
    The Carpool Experience
    by Shift San Diego | Dec 06, 2016

    With two carpool lanes on Interstate 805 (one in each direction) between SR 52 and Mira Mesa Boulevard and a Direct Access Ramp (DAR) at Carroll Canyon Road now open to the public, we talked with a commuter at a nearby employer about her carpool experience and the use of the new facility.

    Kathleen champions the Commuter Program at her company, Texas Instruments. Not only does she encourage other fellow employees to find alternative transportation solutions, but she carpools at least twice a week to work.

    Q: How did you find a carpool?

    A: I found my carpool through a conversation with another co-worker. Once we found out that we commute in the same direction and work the same hours, it was a win-win situation. I am available to carpool more days of the week than my co-worker. Due to other commitments, he cannot carpool more than 2 days per week at this time. If his schedule opens up to carpool more, I am all for it.

    Q: What were your hesitations, if any, about carpooling?

    A: The only thing I was worried about was the other person’s reliability and promptness. The truth is, he is more prompt than me. We make sure to communicate with one another about any changes to our schedules.

    Q: What made you decide to start carpooling?

    A: I have been looking for a commuting solution for myself for some time. I care about the environment and with the new carpool lane opening, it was perfect timing.

    Q: How do you carpool (meet at a lot, pick each other up)?

    A: We take turns picking each other up and driving. I will drive one week and he will drive the next week.

    Q: What do you like about carpooling?

    A: It is very nice to be able to take turns driving. I feel less stress on the days when I am the passenger. Additionally, we use the new carpool lane now and that has really shaved some time off our commute.

    Q: How has the opening of the DAR and HOV lanes affected your commute?

    A: My morning commute to work before carpooling was approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Now commuting on the DAR and the HOV lanes, my commute is 10 to 15 minutes.

    My evening commute home before carpooling was 35 to 45 minutes. Now it is only 25 to 30 minutes with the DAR and HOV lanes.

    Q: How do you help others with their alternative commute?

    A: I let them know what options are available if they have any interest in carpooling. Also, at the time of hiring, employees are told about the tax-free options that Texas Instruments offers for using public transit.

    Q: What are the benefits of carpooling?

    A: The benefits are saving commuting time, saving money on gas, saving wear and tear on your vehicle, helping the environment, and reducing stress in your life. According to my iCommute account, I’m saving 35% on commuting costs by carpooling.

    For more carpool info, click here.

    To access the guide to using the direct access ramps at I-805 and Carroll Canyon Road, click here.


    Dec 06, 2016
    Spoken words: A bike commuter’s experience
    by Shift San Diego | Nov 22, 2016

    It is American Diabetes Month and what better way to bring awareness to the month than by speaking to Associate Director John C. of the American Diabetes Association and learning about his bike commute? Not only does biking provide the physical activity your body needs to help prevent diabetes, it also helps put you in a better mood for work. Read more about what motivates John C. to make this commute happen at least 3 times a week.

     Q: What motivates you to ride to work?

    A: I ride to work for several reasons: 1) I find the commute by car can be extremely frustrating and when I ride it tends to leave me in a much happier mood during the day. 2) I think it is important that we all try to do something to reduce our use of fossil fuels, and this is a small way I can do that. 3) I love the workout that I get when I ride to work. While my legs may feel tired, I feel energized.

    Q: How did you get started?

    A: I must admit that it took a little planning to get started because I often have to drive to various meetings, not to mention dealing with clothing, etc. Ultimately, I decided on a method that seems to work well for me. I have an armoire at the office where I keep a week’s worth of clothing; I drive to the office on Monday morning, ride home, then ride back to the office the next day. This allows me to have a car at the office should I need it.

    Q: How would you describe your level of experience bike riding?

    A: While I do enjoy riding, prior to starting to ride to work I had not really done much riding for about a year prior to that point. I just kept making excuses about time and such, but once I started it’s been amazing.

    Q: What do you need to get started?

    A: A person can get started fairly easily and relatively cheaply. I bought a used bike for $150, an inexpensive helmet for $30, a bike pump, small tool kit and spare tube, bike shoes, cycling shorts, and a jersey. All together I spent about $300. While there are many items which you can buy for more, it’s not necessary to get started.

    Q: What do you like about your bike commute?

    A: Passing cars!! I love when I get to pass cars that are stopped due to gridlock.

    Q: What is the most challenging part about bike commuting?

    A: Not getting lazy.

    Q: How does your company support bike commuters?

    A: I am fortunate in that I have a place to keep my bike and we have showers in our building.

    Q: How do you make sure you maintain your bike?

    A: I try to watch for specials on Groupon and take it in every quarter to be tuned up.

    Q: What advice do you have for people who want to try biking to work?

    A: Find a friend/co-worker and start by meeting up and riding together. It may mean someone has to drive a little so you can meet up, but soon you’ll be riding to the meet ups.

    Q: What are the benefits of biking?

    A: I really can’t underscore how happy I feel after I get home or get to work on a bike. It’s amazing.

    Q: Describe how you feel when you bike.

    A: It’s funny because when you ride a bike you often feel like you are all alone in the world and what do I do if I get a flat or something? When I started riding, it brought an awareness of the goodness of people and the community it creates, especially when people started to say, “Hey, if you ever need a ride or get stuck, just let me know.” It’s also great when cyclists who are stopped are asked by other cyclists, “You ok? Got everything?” Life is good!

    Resources to help you GO by BIKE. iCommute has the information you need to get moving!

     For more information on American Diabetes Month, click here.


    Nov 22, 2016
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