SANDAG and partners to build airport connected mobility hub in downtown San Diego

April 18, 2022
SANDAG is moving forward with environmental reviews for the Central Mobility Hub project that will provide a multimodal transit connection to San Diego International Airport.

Downtown San Diego will be the site of a future mobility hub that will connect bus, Trolley and passenger rail customers to San Diego International Airport.

The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and its partners in the Central Mobility Hub project, the city of San Diego and Navy Region Southwest, are moving forward with the project. SANDAG says it anticipates beginning environmental review for transit connections to the airport this summer, followed by an environmental review for the Central Mobility Hub site in downtown San Diego. The start of environmental reviews is meant as an expediated step to ensure the region “is well-positioned to be the first in line for federal infrastructure funding.”

“We’ve spent the last couple of years listening to the community, working with our partner agencies and really digging into the details to ensure the Central Mobility Hub project is a place that will serve everyone in the region,” said SANDAG Chair and Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear. “Two things have become clear – transit to the airport must be our first priority and moving the Central Mobility Hub Downtown will provide the connectivity, density and overall convenience we need to truly transform the regional transit system through this investment.”

The Central Mobility Hub is a fundamental concept in San Diego Forward: The 2021 Regional Plan, which is SANDAG’s blueprint for enhanced mobility. The Central Mobility Hub project will include two direct transit connections to the airport including one from a new transit center located at the Port of San Diego headquarters on Pacific Highway and the other from the existing Santa Fe Depot. These connections will link to the future Central Mobility Hub, which will be built at a location yet to be determined in downtown San Diego.

“The world’s greatest cities have convenient transit to their airports and this project will allow San Diego to join their ranks, finally providing this missing link in our regional infrastructure,” said SANDAG Vice Chair and San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. “Downtown San Diego is the perfect location for a transformational project that will enhance transit mobility for the entire region. It’s time to put this big city vision into action and get shovels in the ground.”

Previous studies for the Central Mobility Hub explored a possible location on the Navy’s Old Town Campus. However, SANDAG says it and the Navy have agreed this location will no longer be pursued for the Central Mobility Hub. SANDAG and the Navy continue their cooperation on the revitalization of the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) facilities, which could include a future transit stop at the site and a potential larger mixed-use development.

“The city of San Diego and SANDAG have been exceptional in their support of the Navy. We look forward to continuing to work with the city and SANDAG as we move forward with the Navy Old Town Campus Revitalization project, and connect NAVWAR to the regional transportation system,” said Navy Region Southwest Commander Rear Admiral Stephen Barnett. “The revitalization of NAVWAR’s facilities right here in San Diego is urgently needed to support their national security mission and will benefit both the Navy and San Diego for many years to come.”

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.