The Coast News Group
Officials and others celebrate the Carlsbad Connector launch on Aug. 19. Courtesy photo
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Community gathers to celebrate launch of the Carlsbad Connector

On Monday, August 19, community members, stakeholders, and public officials gathered to celebrate the launch of the Carlsbad Connector, a new app-based, on-demand express shuttle service operating out of the Carlsbad Poinsettia COASTER Station. The Carlsbad Connector serves the Carlsbad business parks east of Interstate 5 (I-5) and along Avenida Encinas. The shuttle service is one of many programs supported by the Build North Coast Corridor’s (Build NCC) vision to establish a network of multimodal options through a connected system of highway, transit, active transportation, and environmental projects. The shuttle service is made possible through a partnership between the City of Carlsbad, the North County Transit District (NCTD), and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).

The Build NCC North Coast Corridor Programs demonstrates how the SANDAG “5 Big Moves” framework can be applied to help deliver a complete transportation system that is efficient, equitable, and sustainable. These programs demonstrate key components of the “Complete Corridors” and “Flexible Fleets” concepts. Investments being made throughout the Build NCC corridor, including the Carlsbad Connector service, connect communities and facilitate commerce.

The Carlsbad Connector offers commuters an affordable, convenient, and environmentally friendly transit choice, increasing mobility by providing a new connection to the COASTER service. Travelers will be dropped off within a short walk from their final destination. The app optimizes routes for commuters to minimize the travel time to their destinations.

Commuters interested in using the Carlsbad Connector can download the mobile app in the Apple App or Google Play stores (seats can be reserved up to three days in advance). Fares for the shuttle service are $2.50 for a one-way ride but individuals with a COASTER monthly pass or RegionPlus day pass ride for Free.

The commute service will run from the Carlsbad Poinsettia COASTER Station Monday through Friday from 7 – 9 a.m. and again in the evening from 3 – 6 p.m. A lunch service is also available from noon – 3 p.m., providing service to local desired lunch destinations.

To view a service map and learn more about the Carlsbad Connector, please visit CarlsbadConnector.com.

About Build NCC

Build NCC is a collaborative effort between the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), Caltrans, and the United States Department of Transportation. The first phase of construction is in the cities of Solana Beach, Encinitas, and Carlsbad as part of the North Coast Corridor Program. Build NCC includes extending the existing carpool lane on I-5 in each direction from Lomas Santa Fe Drive to State Route 78, double tracking the rail line and replacing the highway and rail bridges at the San Elijo Lagoon, restoring the San Elijo Lagoon, and constructing nearly seven miles of new bike and pedestrian trails. Construction on Build NCC began in early 2017 and will be complete by 2022.

Top: NCTD board chair and Encinitas Councilman Tony Kranz, left, Carlsbad Mayor Pro Tem and NCTD board member Priya Bhat-Patel and Carlsbad Councilwoman and SANDAG board member Cori Schumacher prepare to cut the ribbon at the Aug. 19 launch of the Carlsbad Connector. Courtesy photo