San Diego Coaster Train

As you drive along the San Diego Freeway in Oceanside, you probably will  notice a station on the eastern side of the freeway. That's where Coaster begins or ends at its northernmost point. The last stop on the south end of Coaster is at the Santa Fe Depot station in downtown San Diego.  That location is a few blocks from Seaport Village, Horton Plaza, Gaslamp District and the harbor where cruise ships, ferries and boat tours are located.  We were told that the Coaster costs less than Amtrak to ride, but only serves San Diego region. See California Trains & Trams

Computerized ticket booths at the Coaster stations sell tickets with prices based on zones. Charts on the machines show the zones and prices as color coded boundaries.  From Solana Beach to downtown San Diego took us through two zones.  The ticket cost around $4.50 one way. There are savings when you purchase quantities of tickets or a monthly pass.

After you buy a ticket, you have to use the machine to have it stamped with a time and date. From the time it is stamped, you are allowed 2 hours to use the ticket and to make transfers.  We're not going to go into the details of rules and regulations about this procedure because you can find the updated and accurate information on websites such as or by calling 1-800-COMMUTE.

What's good to know is that San Diegans love public transportation and they claim it is easy.  Without a pen and paper, we can't remember the numbers of buses, the corners of streets, etc.  So what we were told is to call the number above if you get lost. The public transportation system supposedly takes people to just about every location and attraction in the region, including Tijuana, which is the way to go there for day trips, considering the border back up can take several hours. 

What we enjoyed about Coaster was the clean cars and decor, the comfortable temperature, the great views from our window and speed of travel.  On our previous trip to San Diego, we stayed at Loews Coronado Bay Resort and never drove our car in three days. We took local buses and the ferry and got around pretty well. NOT driving a car can be a vacation.  In San Diego, public transportation provides opportunities to meet people or relax and watch the scenery, which is something you can't do well  while driving. 

San Diego Coaster Train

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