Why isn’t the City extending service to the Cays this year?

The City cares about the Coronado Cays. But after several years of pilot programs failing to generate sufficient ridership to justify the cost of providing the service, the City Council decided to no longer offer the shuttle service to the Cays.

By way of background, the Council initiated Free Summer Shuttle service in coordination with the Metropolitan Transit System in 2013. The pilot transit program was created to help alleviate traffic and parking issues in downtown Coronado during the busy summer months. MTS also serves the Cays via regular 901 bus service along the Silver Strand from the Cays to the Village and vice versa. Over the years, City Council and staff have piloted several programs to extend shuttle service to the Coronado Cays:

  • In 2015, the City offered free Compass Card bus passes to Cays residents to ride the MTS 901 bus to summer Sunday concerts and Fourth of July festivities. Due to a discounted MTS rate, the City was required to purchase the passes in advance. The passes cost the City $2,692 but, due to the discount, no refunds were issued for unused passes. The program was well-received on the Fourth of July. However, at the end of the year, there were many unused passes and rumors swirled that the passes were being used by non-Cays residents. MTS did not offer the discounted rate again despite the City requesting it.
  • In 2016, the City opted for a different route. The City contracted with Loews Coronado Bay Resort to provide a Silver Strand Shuttle pilot project via the Loews shuttle. This provided bus service from 9 am to 9 pm every 30 minutes from three stops in the Cays to Adella Avenue in the Village. This resulted in 4,040 trips from the Cays at a cost to the City of $60,000. The City's cost for a round-trip was $14.85 per rider.
  • After hearing that there weren't enough stops in the Cays during the 2016 shuttle season, the City altered the program in 2017 to try to increase ridership and make it more convenient for Cays riders. The City implemented "Cays Curbside Service" in 2017. The program allowed people living in the Cays to be picked up at their door using a system that transported them to the Loews Shuttle service into the village and back seven days a week. This cost the City $9,298. Broken down, there were about 450 one-way trips at a cost to the City of $10.34 each trip. A regular full-day MTS bus pass is currently $5. Given the limited number of riders and cost, the Council discontinued the program in 2018.
  • The City marketed the program in the Cays via the Coronado Cays Homeowners Association, door hangers, ads in the local newspaper, Cays-sponsored A-frame signs letting people know about the service, press releases announcing the special Cays service, and notices in the City Manager's Weekly Update. In three years, none of the pilot programs spurred any demand for the free service.
  • As a point of comparison, the Free Summer Shuttle carried approximately 150,000 people in the 2017 season at a cost to the City per rider of 90 cents.
  • Ridership has remained very high on the Fourth of July. The City will provide a free Fourth of July shuttle between the Cays Fire Station and the Community Center in 30-minute intervals from 8 am to 11 pm

Show All Answers

1. Was the Coronado Senior Association moved out of the John D. Spreckels Center to make room for the City’s Cultural Arts senior management analyst?
2. Since the Spreckels Center does not have the word “senior” anywhere on the facility, does the City have a true “senior center” that addresses the needs of those 50 and older?
3. Do I have to recycle my food waste now that EDCO has announced its new Organic Recycling Program?
4. Why does the City waste money watering the synthetic turf at the Lawn Bowling Green?
5. Does the City’s affordable housing provider San Diego Interfaith Housing treat tenants in an arbitrary, unpredictable, discriminatory fashion and evict people without cause?
6. Are the current asphalt repairs simply “make-work” and unnecessary?
7. Are there fresh water aquifers in Coronado that could be used for a supply of potable water?
8. Did the City of Newport Beach successfully challenge a state law, Senate Bill 2, that mandates a city's zoning codes accommodate emergency shelters and transitional housing?
9. Did the new traffic signal at Alameda Boulevard and Fourth Street cause a back-up of traffic east of the intersection on Wednesday, November 6?
10. Does refinancing the former redevelopment agency’s bonds and loans create more density in Coronado?
11. Does the City’s affordable housing provider San Diego Interfaith Housing treat tenants in an arbitrary, unpredictable, discriminatory fashion and evict people without cause?
12. How can the City leave the lights on at the Coronado Public Library overnight especially during the current heat wave and with potential rotating outages?
13. How does a City get selected to Dr. Beach’s Top 10 Best Beaches in America list?
14. Is it true that enterococci bacteria can be caused by decaying kelp and why doesn’t the City think the current advisory at Avenida del Sol is related to sewage impacts from the Tijuana River or Mexico
15. Is the City going to make changes at Coronado Cays Park?
16. Is the City not respecting its beautiful historic sidewalks?
17. Is the City trying to extend San Diego’s Lindbergh Field into Coronado?
18. Is the water quality being affected in South Beach and is Central Beach being tested for the Fourth of July?
19. Is there still time to have a say on the Coronado Cays Park Master Plan?
20. It has been reported in national news stories based on a local report that the City of Coronado’s beach was closed for several weeks. Is that true?
21. Questions have come up in the community about what uses are allowed in the City of Coronado’s R-1A residential zoning code. What are those uses?
22. The City has fire rings at North Beach that get very busy during the summer. What is the City’s fire ring policy? How does the City monitor behavior at the fire rings and is it enough?
23. What are the white cones along the Silver Strand State Highway?
24. Is the National Citizen Survey conducted by the National Research Center valid?
25. What is the current status of the Golf Course Water Recycling and Turf Care Facility project or the environmental review? How are the potential environmental impacts being addressed?
26. What role does the City have in the redevelopment of the Coramart building and has the City prevented its redevelopment?
27. What was the odor in Coronado on Easter Sunday?
28. Why are there two construction sites at Spreckels Park? And why is the site near Seventh only a concrete pad?
29. Why is the City ending its participation in the Rotary Santa program?
30. Why isn’t the City extending service to the Cays this year?
31. Why were two palms recently removed from the beach?
32. Why is the Glorietta Bay Boat Launch Ramp closed and when will it reopen?