Trolley Extension Has Already Changed the Lives of UC San Diego Students

by on December 21, 2021 · 0 comments

in Education, San Diego

By Manu Agni / Op-Ed San Diego Union-Tribune / Dec. 13, 2021

The Mid-Coast Extension of the UC San Diego Blue Line Trolley rolled into campus for the first time just a few weeks ago, but it’s already making a huge impact.

For decades, UC San Diego has been a sleepy hollow for students — up on a mesa in La Jolla, isolated from the rest of San Diego. Since the founding of campus, the way to get up to the mesa was always to meander up La Jolla hills on old roads that date back to the time of Camp Matthews and when “biotech” wasn’t in San Diego’s lexicon.

More recently, this has meant spending hours in a car, stuck in crippling traffic congestion, or crawling along on a bus subject to the very same traffic.

UC San Diego and the area around it look a lot different now than they did in 1960 — the year the campus was founded, shortly after the birth of the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System. Since then, the student headcount here has soared, with record enrollment growth leading to almost 43,000 students on campus this fall. San Diego has had many a life science boom, with another one on the horizon in UC San Diego’s front yard.

It was clear to me, and to my tens of thousands of student colleagues, that our old way of getting around wasn’t going to cut it anymore. For that, the Blue Line Trolley came to save the day.

Now, students have an easy, fast and free (thanks to the all-campus U-Pass program) ride to all that San Diego has to offer. Students who previously had a hard time venturing farther than the beach or the Westfield UTC mall can now hop on a quick trolley ride to jobs, internships, restaurants and even nightlife — all across San Diego.

UC San Diego students are also in the midst of a housing crisis.

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Manu Agni is president of the Associated Students of UC San Diego and lives in La Jolla.

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