San Diego is a large city with so much to offer, and when you’re visiting (or commuting), you’ll need a reliable way to get around that’s quick and affordable. The San Diego Trolley connects many of San Diego’s top tourist destinations, as well as local neighborhoods, and is safe, easy to use, and reliable.
Know that the San Diego Trolley and the Old Town Trolley Tours are not the same thing. While both are enjoyed by visitors and local commuters, the San Diego Trolley is a series of light rail trolleys and trolley lines used to get around town. While the Old Town Trolley Tours is an all day tour that takes you on a bus that looks like a trolley all around San Diego showing you the highlights.
San Diego had an extensive trolley network in the late 19th and early 20th century, although those initial streetcars were eventually discontinued as cars became more mainstream. However, demand for more comprehensive public transit resurged in the 1970s, and San Diego opened their trolley system in 1981. The San Diego Trolley has been a key part of the city’s infrastructure ever since.
San Diego Trolley Passing the Convention Center
The San Diego Trolley currently has three main lines - the Blue, Orange, and Green lines. Currently, the Blue line runs south from downtown to the Mexican border. The Orange Line runs east of downtown to La Mesa and El Cajon. The Green Line runs north of downtown and then east through Mission Valley, meeting up with the Orange Line in El Cajon and running further to Santee.
The city just extended the Blue Line north to La Jolla, UC San Diego and UTC Mall and just outside Pacific Beach. This extension opened in 2021.
They also run the Silver Line, which is a downtown circulator that connects the three lines. This line only runs on selected days when the system is experiencing high volumes of traffic (usually weekends and holidays).
The San Diego Trolley is very safe and clean, with roomy, well-lit cars and stations. Many of the trolley stops connect to San Diego’s bus lines, which are run by the same transportation agency.
The Metropolitan Transit System has been San Diego’s main public transportation agency since the 1880s and operates a comprehensive network of trains, buses, and jitneys. The trolley also connects to other popular public transit services, such as the Coaster commuter train and the Pacific Surfliner Amtrak train.
Since traffic in San Diego can get very congested, the Trolley is often the quickest way to get from point A to point B. It’s also a safe alternative to driving if you’re going to be enjoying San Diego’s incredible nightlife.