By Bus, San Diego
San Diego's public transportation has improved over the years and now it is easier--even if slow--to get around the city and county of SD.
Not many people in San Diego, who can afford to travel around the world, use public transportation here. Nor do many people who own a car. I do have a car, but there have been times that I've had to rely on public transportation so I have a better idea of it's value in San Diego.
First I will say that our system, which is probably among the best on the West Coast, it is not nearly as convenient as in Europe, which I have also used while there. Also, if you have the use of a car here I'd say it is the best way to get around.
Now, back to the bus. Buses run throughout the county and many of their Hubs (Transit stations) are located at one of the SD Trolley stations, so the connecting aspect is pretty good in general.
At the Transit 511 website you can easily find out how to get from one place to another by useing their Trip Planner. If you do not have Internet service while traveling, you can call the regional Transit Information phone number found below to have your questions answered, as well as route schedules and times.
THE TRANSIT STORE is located downtown at 102 Broadway at First street. There you can buy passes, ask questions and pick-up route pamplets free of charge.
The San Diego Bus Tour is an amazing service (especially to us Brits who despise our public transport!) You can literally travel around every tourist attraction of San Diego on one ticket (very reasonably priced comapred with UK prices) and you can hop on and hop off at various locations all around the area. Buses arrive at the designated stops every half an hour and the service is excellent. I highly recommend this if you have limited time but would like to see as much as possible.
After you've reclaimed your baggage, go outside of the airport and there will be a bus stop. (From the Information booth, located by an exit and the baggage reclaim, it's left out of the exit and walk maybe 30 metres).
Take bus number 992. This is the ONLY bus that'll take you from SD International Airport to Downtown. It runs between: Terminal 2- Harbor Drive - Broadway. At Broadway it stops outside the Santa Fe Depot, SD's train station with Amtrak and the local Coaster operating here. Catch a trolley to Mexico also.
Bus 992 runs every 10/15 minutes, including Saturday, Sunday and Holidays.
If you are in downtown SD - by the cruise ships, harbour, Santa Fe train depot, Horton Plaza, or anywhere along Broadway (the street that runs pass these locations) - take the NUMBER 7 bus to the SAN DIEGO ZOO. Either the 7A or 7B will take you to the carpark, from which it's a 5 minute walk to the zoo entrance. THIS IS THE ONLY PUBLIC BUS THAT WILL TAKE YOU THERE!! Fare is $2.25 one-way. I've taken 2 kids (ages 2 and 5) with me and they were free. And if you've taken any other public transportation, you can use the same ticket within 2 hours. Buses run every 10/15 minutes.
Here is another link to a more allround-transport information in San Diego including:
Coaster (Express Coas Rail Service)
THANKS GO TO THE:
San Diego County Metropolitan Transit System
Several bus operators work together to form the Metropolitan Transit System.
San Diego Transit Corporation (SDTC) is the Largest Bus Operator in San Diego County - look at its bus stop sign at my picture (notice the red colour of a curb on the bus stop).
North County Transit District (NCTD) Buses carry passengers in the north San Diego County region.
If you arrive by plane, need a ride and don’t want to spend too much silver on a cab, no problem, just take the public bus. It’s cheap, runs every 15 minutes and brings you basically everywhere you need to go. You may have to switch bus at one point, but hey, you cannot get heaven for 2 bucks fifty.
Orientation downtown is not a problem at all and even if you need to get to some place else the signage for highways is well organized. I mention this since I had pretty bad experiences in other cities and therefore appreciate these facilities very much.
If you are coming here from Los Angeles, take I-5 South.
From personal experience, the public transportation here is reliable. Bus fare ranges from 75 cents to $1.75. If you choose to take the bus, pay your fare and ask the driver for a transfer slip (a transfer slip is good for the trolley and the bus for 2 hrs.). If you have a monthly pass, show it to the driver or the trolley conductor, and you ride free for a month. I must advise you: the #854 bus is sometimes late. At indicated trolley stations, there are schedules and 'vending machines' that sell trolley tickets.