SAN DIEGO–The San Diego Freeway Service Patrol (FSP), a publicly-funded motorist aid program administered by San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), has expanded its operation beyond rush hours to help stranded motorists during midday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition, weekend FSP service is now available in most of the region from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. These latest changes are part of a pilot initiative, SANDAG said Monday.
Using a fleet of 25 tow trucks and 13 light-duty pickup trucks, FSP drivers assist stranded motorists with a gallon of gas, a jump-start, water for the radiator, or a tire change. The goal of the FSP program is to resolve traffic tie-ups caused by vehicle breakdowns as quickly as possible.
“The Freeway Service Patrol plays a critical role in congestion relief and traffic safety,” SANDAG Executive Director Gary Gallegos said. “In the past year alone, the program assisted nearly 58,000 motorists, the vast majority of them during rush hour, when just one disabled vehicle can cause havoc for thousands of commuters.”
Both the midday and weekend service expansion took effect July 1. FSP trucks patrol approximately 242 miles of San Diego freeways, including sections of Interstates 5, 8, 15, and 805, and State Routes 52, 54, 56, 67, 78, 94, 125, 163, and 905. FSP assistance is now available on virtually every freeway in the region during the week and on the weekends. See the attached map of the FSP service area.
The expanded hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 5:30 to 9:30 a.m.; 10 a.m.to 2 p.m.; 3 to 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
SANDAG first began the weekend pilot in North County in October 2012, expanded it into metro San Diego in January 2013, and expanded it again recently to the rest of the county. The pilot expansion will continue as long as funds are available. Findings from the pilot will enable SANDAG to further fine-tune the program to improve efficiency.
The San Diego FSP is part of a statewide program that began in 1993. FSP programs now exist in 14 metropolitan areas throughout California and are funded by the state budget. SANDAG operates FSP in conjunction with the freeway call box program, another free motorist aid service. When motorists open the yellow call box, pick up the phone, and press the red call button, they are automatically connected to call center staff.
For motorist aid during FSP service hours, drivers also can call 511 from their cell phone and say “Roadside Assistance.” To learn more about the San Diego FSP, visit 511sd.com/FSP.