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San Diego Rail System Offers Low Cost Service

July 06, 1986

High-tech it may not be, but San Diego's popular downtown-to-Tijuana trolley has had excellent ridership growth and boasts the lowest operating cost per passenger mile of any rail transit system in the nation.

That's the word from Railway Age magazine, citing figures from the federal Department of Transportation: The San Diego Trolley costs 12 cents per passenger mile to operate, well under the U.S. average of 22.3 cents for rail systems. In 1985, according to the department's statistics, the trolley gained 14% in ridership.

"These statistics demonstrate that San Diego was on track when it made its decision, almost 10 years ago, to move ahead with a light rail transit alternative," according to James R. Mills, chairman of San Diego's Metropolitan Transit Development Board.

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