San Diego's trolley system is ideal for downtown
conventioneers, tourists, and those attending meetings near the
convention center and Gaslamp Quarter.
Seen in the photo above with
the reflection pools is the San Diego trolley returning on its run
from the U.S../Mexico border at San Ysidro, the last stop before
entering Tijuana, BC (Baja
California). Behind the trolley is the odd architectural design
elements of the San Diego Convention Center, where the trolley
stops. The Marriott hotel is also pictured.
While the trolley is red, you
must take the Blue Line to the U.S. border in San Ysidro, where
you'll have to get off at the end of the stop. For those
driving into town to take the trolley to the border, you may want to
drive further along the route to stops in other places along the way
where parking fee may be slightly less than parking near the Amtrak
Depot Station. Stops along the way via the Chula Vista inland route
(versus Coronado along the Pacific Ocean) include Beyer Bl.
4035 Beyer Bl (1 blk. SE of Smythe Ave.) with 131 parking spaces;
Iris Ave. 3120 Iris Ave. (at 30th St.) with 192 parking spaces;
Palm Ave. 2340 Palm Ave. (1/4 mile east of I-5, Chula Vista) with
499 parking spaces; Palomar St. 1265 Industrial Ave. (at Palomar
St., Chula Vista) with 305 parking spaces; 745 H St. (at I-5)
with 295 parking spaces; Bayfront/ 750 E St. (at I-5) with 267
parking spaces; 506 W. 22nd St. (at Wilson Ave.) with 156
spaces; or 555 W. 8th St. (1/4 mile west of I-5, National
City) with 123 parking spaces.
Trolleys run every 15 minutes
during day and nightfall, then go every 30 minutes at night and on
weekends. Once you're at the border, follow the crowd and walk into
Mexico along the big walkway with the fence. If you prefer a ride,
you can hop aboard shuttle buses that charge a small fee and run
every 30 minutes or so from U.S. parking lots and from the end of
the San Diego trolley line directly to the Avenida Revolucion
shopping area. They operate between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. While they
charge around $1.50 (price may go up), the advantage of being able
to sit on the way back is a bonus for those whose feet are tired.
It's a toss up trying to figure out if you'd be faster walking back
into the U.S., because there's often a long line for that as well.
Mexicoach runs its red buses every 20 minutes from the Border
Station Parking & Tourist Information Center, 4570 Camino de la
Plaza, in San Ysidro. Round-trip rides from San Ysidro to Tijuana
are $3 and run 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Other destinations include
Rosarito ($14/one way; $24 round trip), or Ensenada ($17/one way;
$27/round trip approx.) Ensenada is approx. 80 miles from the border
and you'll only find about one run per day at the outrageous early
morning hour and back at night into the U.S. around 6 p.m.
Check for current price. mexicoach.com
The San Diego Trolley also includes two other color coded lines
(green or orange) that go throughout the city of San Diego to major
attractions. Special lines carry sports fans to the Petco Park and
to events such as the Mardi Gras in Gaslamp Quarter.