San Diego offers many modes of public transportation providing travelers with economical and eco-friendly options to explore the region.
San Diego's Compass Card is your ticket for the bus, trolley, NTCD COASTER, BREEZE and SPRINTER. Get your transit pass loaded onto a Compass Card at any ticket machine, or download the free mobile ticketing app where you can purchase 1-day and 30-day passes from your smartphone for immediate use anytime, anywhere.
Starting September 1, 2021, MTS and NCTD riders can use the new regional fare system, PRONTO. PRONTO will replace the Compass Card and Cloud systems entirely, offering riders a better payment experience when choosing transit.
An economical way to navigate through San Diego is by bus. There are plenty of routes that offer service throughout the county. Be sure to check schedules and plan your routes in advance.
If you're staying in and around downtown San Diego, the iconic bright red trolley will take you in and around the city. The San Diego Trolley provides convenient services from key locations downtown, including the Santa Fe Depot and the San Diego Convention Center, crisscrossing through downtown and out to various locations like Old Town, Mission Valley, El Cajon, Santee and San Ysidro, which is on the Mexican border.
For trolley schedules and information, visit SDMTS.
The North County Transit District's COASTER trains connect downtown San Diego and Old Town with coastal communities throughout the county including Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad and Oceanside. These trains offer visitors car-free access to some of the most charming beach communities in the region, as well as a relaxing ride with breathtaking coastal scenery. There are more than 20 trains that run on weekdays with additional service on weekends. The entire COASTER route from Oceanside to the Santa Fe Depot downtown takes about an hour. An adult round-trip fare from downtown San Diego to Oceanside is inexpensive and children aged 5 and under ride for free.
For COASTER schedules and information, visit COASTER.
The east-west SPRINTER light rail train system that connects Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos and Escondido. The 22-mile long rail system runs along the Highway 78 corridor, serving 15 stations, and running every 30 minutes. Adult one-way fares are inexpensive and children aged 5 and under ride free. A regional day pass, valid on the SPRINTER, Trolley and buses throughout the county, is also available.
For SPRINTER schedules and information, visit SPRINTER.
The Pacific Surfliner is a relaxing and convenient way to travel along the San Diego coastline and to San Diego from destinations like Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and the northern Pacific Coast.
For train schedules and information, visit Pacific Surfliner.
Pedicabs are popular forms of transportation along downtown's waterfront and in the Gaslamp Quarter. There are tours available as well, providing a unique way to explore San Diego's downtown communities.
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