San Diego Trolley System
The San Diego trolley is a light-rail train system servicing downtown and surround areas. It began operations in 1981 and continues to expand to accommodate the city's growth.
Currently, there are 53.5 miles of tracks which transport over 100,000 riders per weekday. The tracks are divided into three lines: Green, Orange, and Blue.
- The Blue line is 18.8 miles and heads south from Old Town to the USA/Mexico border in San Ysidro. This line is quite popular since many people live in Mexico but work in San Diego (or vice versa) and need to commute back and forth between the two countries.
- The Orange line is 20.7 miles long and heads east from the Gaslamp Quarter towards El Cajon and La Mesa. This line is usually not used by tourist, but is used by locals who shuttle from downtown San Diego to inland districts.
- The Green line, added in 2005, is the most recent addition. It has 19.3 miles of track and heads east from Old Town towards Santee. This lines stops at San Diego State University (SDSU) via an underground station and terminates at the Santee Town Center shopping mall.
- in the future, a silver line and a Mid-Coast line may be implemented. The silver line will circle the downtown area in a clockwise direction using pre-existing tracks. The Mid-Coast line will extend northwards from Old Town to service the University of California in San Diego (UCSD) and the University Town Center shopping mall (UTC).
Tickets can be purchased from vending machines or from on-site stores at each stop station. Prices depend on the number of stations you ride: from $1.50 (for one stop) to $3 (for multiple stops). A $5 day-pass is more economical: it allows you to travel all day, in both directions, for as many stops as you want. No one will check your ticket as you enter the train cars; however, law enforcement personnels will randomly ask to see your ticket. A $120 fine is imposed if you are caught on the trolley with no ticket.
For children, this light-rail train system is a fun way to travel. The windows are large and offer a view that whizzes by (the San Diego trolley does not stop for traffic lights). Sometimes the train tracks ascend above ground, while other times it goes underground. The Green line passes through areas with a pleasant, tree-lined view: it could be a relaxing day-trip for you and your children.