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For Immediate Release

7 June 2021

FUTURE SURF! BUSWAY CRUISES TOWARD REDUCING TRAVEL TIMES FOR MONTEREY PENINSULA COMMUTERS

The SURF! Busway and Bus Rapid Transit Project is a 6-mile bus-only lane planned from Marina to Sand City and Seaside on the historic rail corridor parallel to Highway 1. The project is part of a larger collaborative effort to build a modern mobility network for the Monterey Peninsula and the region. With heavy traffic on Highway 1, both transit riders and private vehicle travelers will enjoy a faster commute with the realization of the SURF! busway.

Less congestion means less pollution, less wasted time, and a healthier community. Everyone in the region will benefit from pollution reduction, regardless of zip code, age, or social status. The SURF! project will also expand the Monterey Bay Recreational Trail system for walkers, wheelers, runners, and recreationalists, and it will preserve the busway alignment for future light rail.

To reinforce MST’s commitment to preserving the health of the environment, recently delivered battery electric buses, fueled by 100% renewable energy will travel the future SURF!  busway, further reducing any potential noise or emissions concerns.

MST and the Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) have conducted extensive outreach regarding transit needs in the Highway 1 corridor. Since 2003, multiple plans and studies have looked into the feasibility of solving the congestion problem within the corridor. Recently, an online survey yielded widespread positive community response, with feedback received highlighting the desire for faster transit service, clean buses and stops, real-time electronic information, ticket vending machines, and preservation of nearby bike facilities.

Outreach has been carried out at more than 45 events and meetings, including presentations with County Supervisors, site visits with public agencies and local cities, and meetings with the Coastal Commission, State Parks, LandWatch and other stakeholders. Next, the MST Board of Directors will consider the project at a public hearing on June 14, 2021.

“This project is about thinking beyond our current transportation options by really investing in the future of our community. There are just so many things to like in this project including equity in transportation, environmental stewardship, tackling the crisis of Global Climate Change, boosting the economy by getting people to work and shopping faster, and reducing traffic congestion”, noted Carl Sedoryk, MST General Manager/CEO.

Since the inclusion of a dedicated bus corridor as part of voter approved Measure X in 2016, MST has carefully evaluated the project and worked with design and environmental experts to plan a project that will benefit the people, environment, and economy of the region, while reducing to less than significant levels the potential impacts on the surrounding habitat. The Mitigated Negative Declaration demonstrates that all impacts will be properly mitigated with minor design changes already committed to by MST to address public concerns about lighting, scenic views, noise, native plants, and animal habitat.

Although not required but as a further commitment to environmental stewardship, MST has begun a dialogue with local organizations about investing in preservation and conservation projects above and beyond the mitigation measures noted as part of the project.

Detailed information and a link to the June 14 meeting is available at mst.org/about-mst/planning-development/surf.

For more information, visit www.mst.org or call Monterey-Salinas Transit toll free at 1‑888‑MST‑BUS1 (1‑888‑678‑2871). For RealTime bus arrival information, text “Next” and your four-digit bus stop ID (example, “Next 9103”) to 25370, call 1‑888‑MST‑BUS1 with your four-digit bus stop ID, download the free Transit app, or use Google Maps. Follow MST on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mst_bus for the latest service alerts.

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