KPBS San Diego - Just months after launch, South Bay rapid bus line survives campaign to get rid of it

SAN DIEGO, California - A new express bus line in the South Bay has survived a campaign to get rid of it, just months after the route went into service.

The Rapid 227 electric bus line, which connects the Otay Mesa Port of Entry and Imperial Beach, has faced a blooming debate in the small waterfront city. Dozens of residents there said they were frustrated by the arrival of new noise and street traffic and accused county transit authorities of not doing enough to consult with the neighborhood.

The bus also drew passionate support from dozens of other Imperial Beach residents, along with a number of community advocates and city officials. They said the new bus line was an essential resource for binational commuters and students and argued it was far too soon to consider winding it down.

After a lengthy public hearing last month, the Imperial Beach City Council said they would support keeping the bus line in place. They recommended transit authorities consider shifting the route slightly so it would be less disruptive to some neighborhoods.

Advocates and many residents celebrated the decision.

“We believe that it's going to provide a lot of benefits for our South Bay communities,” said transit advocate Randy Torres-Van Vleck. “It's a lifeline for our communities to get around, participate in the economy, get across the border, get to school, get to resources, and get to the beach.”

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