San Diego offers many modes of public transportation, providing travelers with economical and eco-friendly options to explore the region.
There's a whole new way to get everywhere you need to go around the San Diego region: The PRONTO card and app. PRONTO (which replaces the old Compass Card system) lets you get a move on faster and easier anytime you want to ride the San Diego Trolley, a bus or the Coaster train. The cloud-based system allows users to add funds instantly, and then buy a ticket when needed with a simple tap of the card or phone at a station kiosk. One-way fares are valid for unlimited transfers within two hours of activation, and PRONTO also lets you earn as you go toward a day or month pass on the Trolley or buses. Download the PRONTO app at the Apple or Google Play stores, or pick up a card at retail outlets, the MTS Transit Store (at 12th and Imperial avenues), NCTD customer service centers or ticket vending machines. And learn everything else you need to know about PRONTO right here!
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. The new UC San Diego Blue Line trolley extension also expands service northward to Clairemont, the UCSD/La Jolla area and the Westfield UTC shopping center.
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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