Member Profile

San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG)

Agency Type: Congestion Management Agency, Metropolitan Planning Organization, Regional Transportation Planning Agency
Summary Profile:

The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) is a large, one-county Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) that plans and programs transportation projects.  SANDAG also serves as the Sales Tax Authority for TransNet, the county transportation sales tax.  Additionally, SANDAG provides a number of services that are unique and noteworthy: a Data Center that develops annual demographic estimates and long range forecasts, in addition to maintaining information from the U.S. Census Bureau; a Criminal Justice Clearinghouse that analyzes and details crime data for local law enforcement agencies (including measures of police performance);  an Employment and Residential Lands Inventory; and a service bureau for customized demographic and economic studies, data and analysis, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysis and mapping, and transportation modeling.  SANDAG is also the Rideshare Agency for the region, assists in the preparation of the Regional Air Quality Management Plan, and develops the Regional Hazardous Waste Management Plan.  

Number of Members: Nineteen: San Diego County and eighteen incorporated cities in the county
Population Represented: 3,288,612
Primary Funding Sources: Local sales tax; federal & state funding sources, grants, tolls, other revenues.
Staff: 320
Program Highlights:
  • North Coast Corridor Program--In 2014, The North Coast Corridor Program was approved unanimously by the California Coastal Commission.  The $6 billion investment is contained entirely within the coastal zone and preserves five sensitive coastal wetlands.  The program balances transportation, environmental, and coastal projects that improve the quality of life for residents in the San Diego region.  One transportation project is the addition of HOV lanes to 1-5 that will ease congestion.  Another is the double tracking of 99% of the 60-mile San Diego segment of the LOSSAN rail line.  
  • SR 11/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry--SANDAG, in partnership with Caltrans and other key local, state, and federal agencies, are working aggressively to construct port of entry in the San Diego-Baja California region that will reduce border wait and make goods movement more efficient.  Current border wait times cost the US and Mexico billions of dollars and interfere with productivity.  The Otay Mesa East Port of Entry project will incorporate tolled approach roads that connect directly to a port of entry that serves both personal and commercial vehicles with the goal of reducing the average wait time to 20-minutes.
  • Mid Coast Trolley--The Mid-Coast Trolley will extend Trolley service from Downtown San Diego to the University City community, serving major activity centers such as Old Town, UC San Diego, and Westfield UTC.  Construction began in fall 2016 and service is anticipated to begin in 2021.  Population in the entire corridor is forecasted to increase 19 percent and employment is forecasted to increase 12 percent by the year 2030.  The Mid-Coast Trolley extension will expand transportation capacity in the corridor to accommodate existing and future travel demand, particularly for peak period commute trips.  The Mid-Coast Trolley will provide an effective alternative to congested freeways and roadways for travelers and will reduce vehicle miles traveled. 
  • ARJIS--The Automated Regional Justice Information System was created to share information among justice agencies throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties.  ARJIS publishes crime statistics from law enforcement agencies within the County and provides public safety initiatives that include access to photos, warrants, and other critical data to help users solve crime and identify criminals.  ARJIS is now used by over 80 local, state, and federal agencies.  
  • State Route 125 Toll Road--Also called the South Bay Expressway, SR 125 is a 10-mile road that provides convenient access to Chula Vista, Downtown San Diego, Otay Mesa, and Mexico.  As the new operator of the South Bay Expressway, SANDAG reduced prices by up to 40 percent.  SANDAG acquired the lease to acquire the toll road in December 2011 for $341.5 million, or roughly one-third of what a private consortium spent to build it.  As a result of public ownership of the highway, the South Bay is getting congestion relief decades sooner than expected. 
  • Borders Program--SANDAG’s jurisdiction presents many opportunities and challenges due to the region’s close ties to its neighboring counties, tribal governments, and the Republic of Mexico.  The Borders Program provides a framework for planning and policy objectives that enhance the cross-border region.  In particular, its 6 focus areas are: jobs/housing accessibility, transportation, energy and water supply, environment, economic development, and homeland security. 
  •  Electric Vehicle Infrastructure--San Diego County is home to over 17,000 plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and has an increased demand for residential, workplace, and commercial electrical vehicle charging stations (EVCS).  SANDAG has partnered with the Center for Sustainable Energy to launch Plug-in SD, which addresses barriers to PEV adoption and deployment of electric vehicle infrastructure.  Plug-in SD helps develop a regionally consistent process for permitting and installation of residential and commercial charging stations, assists with EVCS siting, and provides technical assistance to municipalities and stakeholders through outreach and education.
Board Makeup:

The Board of Directors is composed of 21 members.  Each of the county's 18 cities gets a seat on the board except for the City of San Diego, which gets two seats.  The county also gets two seats.  There are also nine advisory representatives that include Imperial County, the U.S. Department of Defense, Caltrans, San Diego Unified Port District, Metropolitan Transit System, North County Transit District, San Diego County Water Authority, Southern California Chairmen’s Association, and Mexico.  Section 132351.2 of the Public Utilities Code (included in Article IV, Section 5 of the SANDAG Bylaws) requires that in order to act on any item there must be a majority vote of the members present on the basis of one vote per agency and a majority of a weighted vote (determined by formula prescribed in the statute) of the member agencies present. 

Executive Director: Gary Gallegos
CALCOG Board Representative: Ron Morrison, Mayor, City of National City
Web Link: