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'Easier to move around San Diego'| Ride-along on San Diego's new trolley extension

Crowds of people hopped on the trolley at the UCSD stop for a free ride.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Sunday is opening day for San Diego's major new trolley blue line extension. It’s a $2.17 billion project that started in 2016 under the direction of SANDAG. 

They held a big family friendly event outside UCSD campus with free food and music.  

Crowds of people hopped on the trolley at the UCSD stop for a free ride.

"This is really exciting and makes it easier to move around San Diego. I'm going to take it to UCSD every day for work," said a trolley rider.

The 11-mile extension of the UCSD blue line is built by SANDAG and operated by the Metropolitan Transit System. It includes nine new stations from the Santa Fe depot downtown to the University City area along the mid-coast I-5 corridor.

CBS 8 reporter Ariana Cohen did a ride along from the UCSD stop to UTC mall. Cohen says it took about 30 minutes round trip with a 15-minute wait time between trolley rides. 

It’s the region’s largest ever transit project. 

It connects the trolley with big employment centers in the Sorrento Valley and University City areas and direct access to spots like Westfield UTC and UCSD. 

"I'm going to start riding it more. They have all these stops. It's wonderful," said trolley rider, Doreen Doner.

While some people are eager to ride the trolley, others say the trolley won't be too beneficial for San Diego. 

"I'm bringing my son for first time. I'm very excited for his first trip and this experience," said trolley rider, George Jones. 

"I think its going to be great for shopping and not worry about driving," said another trolley rider. 

"I don’t trust our politicians to do what's best for people. They do it for business, making money and projects. I don’t understand why they piled all this up through this expense just to get to UTC. We have Genesee to get to UTC. Why not just put in in the middle?" said trolley rider Richard Ernst. 

"Everyone is going to have complaints. I'm complaining because Clairemont has no parking. There's going to be adjustments," said another trolley rider. 

"I'm a UCSD student really interested in urban planning. This is really exciting," said trolley rider, Molly Ryan. 

The trolley will mostly be used by students riding to class, people trying to get downtown and people trying to save time off their commute. 

Trolley tickets are $2.50 for one way or $6 for a day pass. You can also download the Pronto San Diego app for a mobile ticket. 

WATCH RELATED: SANDAG aims to solve traffic congestion, park goers want to preserve Marian Bear Park (November 2021)