San Diego has a light rail network that wasn't in use when I lived there. I've never ridden it, but based on the website below you can get all around town from Old Town to the Gaslamp to San Ysidro. Fares are between $1.25 and $3.00 depending on the distance travelled.
The San Diego Trolley is a great way to
get around. The trolley travels quickly,
reliably, and safely to destinations around
San Diego. Whether you are a commuter,
tourist, or just want a no-hassle way to
get around, the trolley can whisk you to
the international border, Center City,
Mission Valley, or Fashion Valley shopping, harbor and historic attractions,
restaurants, Old Town and Qualcomm Stadium with other stops along the way.
The photos on this tip were taken at San Ysidro US/Mexico border crossing ....
The trolley is an excellent way to see San Diego. It goes all the way south to the Mexican border, it goes to Old Town and Mission Valley. There is a stop at the Santa Fe Rail Station if you are coming south from Los Angeles via Amtrak.
On our recent visit, we stayed very close to the Gaslamp District, and did a lot of walking. Because we had also rented a car, we did not take advantage of the San Diego Trolley, however, it looks like a very efficient way to travel.
When doing my research prior to our trip, I kept reading about The Trolley. I now realize there are 2 'Trolley's'. This one is the San Diego Trolley, which is part of the basic public transportion system. The other one is the 'Old Town Trolley', which is a tourist trolley, which also takes you around San Diego. See my tip on the Old Town Trolley for more info.
Prior to our trip, I kept reading about 'The Trolley' and how it was a great way to get around San Diego.
What I didn't realize is that there are 2 'trolleys'. This one is the Old Town Trolley, which is more of a tourist thing. The trolley travels around the city, and for 1 ticket, you can spend the day getting off and on at various spots.
It's not to be confused (like me) with the San Diego Trolley which are the red trolleys, and are part of the San Diego public transit system. (see my Tip on the San Diego Trolley for more info.)
Getting to Mexico from San Diego is SO easy! You hop on the trolley in the city center, get a return ticket for 5 USD, sit in the trolley for about 40 min, get off, walk along some long buildings, bridges, steps, corners - and you're right in the heart of Tijuana, having crossed the busies border crossing in the world into the fastest growing city in Mexico. Page will be built in the Mexico section of my page - as soon as all the California pages are finished....
I found the trolley to be a convenient way of getting around in San Diego as it had stops located in just about all the areas I was interested in visiting. It was also easy to figure out, which was my concern travelling alone in a city I've never visited before. The are two lines, one goes north/south, the other east/west. You are able to buy daytripper passes for 1 to 4 days, or you can just pay by the trip. You get your tickets from the machines at the station, including daytripper passes. I found this to be a good way of getting around that was fairly straightforward and affordable ($15 for a 4 day pass). It also comes every 15 minutes, so if you miss it you just wait for the next one.
The San Diego Trolley system is an attractive option for those traveling from the north, east or south. Five San Diego Trolley stations sit within a 15 minute walk of the park. Park and ride lots are located along all Trolley lines, providing the convenience of leaving your car behind. In fact, nearly 10,000 parking spaces are available at park and ride locations throughout the county. There are also parking spaces available at Qualcomm Stadium, with direct Trolley service to PETCO Park.
San Diego Trolley will provide special, more direct "Green Line" service from Qualcomm Stadium to the ballpark via the Convention Center route, on game days, starting two hours before the game and running until two hours after the game. "Green Line" trains will serve all Mission Valley stations and the Old Town Transit Center, with the exception of Mission San Diego, which will not be served by the "Green Line" service.
Many people consider the San Diego Trolley to be an important tourist attraction in itself. Its red trains are definitely eye-catching. A significant part of its appeal probably lies in its usefulness. Its two lines--Blue and Orange--take you to many tourist destinations.
The Blue Line stops at Mission San Diego, Old Town, and San Ysidro at the border. The Orange Line stops at Seaport Village, the Convention Center, and the Gaslamp Quarter.
If you are going to use a lot San Diego's public transportation system, it may be better for you to get a day pass for $5. The day pass is valid for both buses and trolleys. You may get one at ticket dispensers found in all trolley stops.
When you take the trolleys, get your self familiarize with the route and trolleys you will be taking. There is the BLUE and ORANGE trolleys.
It's 1.25 for a "oneway" ticket. But sometimes you may need to transfer. That ticket includes transfers. At the transfer station ask the metro police what train to get on, because if you have never rode on the trolley, the signs could be confusing.
An easy way to get to the San Diego Trolley from the airport is to take Bus #992, "The Airport Flyer" that stops at each terminal. Fare was $2.25 (March 2004). TIP: Ask for a transfer to save on the Trolley fare. For example, if you are going to Tijuana, the fare is only $0.25 more. Get off the bus at Broadway and Kettner. Then cross the street to the American Plaza Transit Center. Follow the link below for a full size map.
San Diego has a nice trolley system. You can buy tickets either per trip, or you can get an "all-day" ticket for $5-6. This ticket lets you ride on the trolleys and buses for the whole day anywhere in the city.
The trolley uses an honor system, and they don't usually check to see if you have a ticket. But occasionally they will have someone check, and if you are caught without one, you will be in trouble!