Try transit! Taking public transportation can get you out of traffic, save you money on gas, help the environment, and ease the stress of your daily commute – all while reducing congestion on our roadways. Read CDC guidelines for protecting yourself when using transportation. 

Regional Transit Agencies

The San Diego region is served by two major transit agencies, the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) and the North County Transit District (NCTD). Together, MTS and NCTD carry more than 100 million passengers annually.

Transit passes are available on Compass Cloud or Compass Card. Compass Cloud allows you to get your transit fare anytime, anywhere, by purchasing one-day and 30-day passes right from your smartphone. You also can buy or reload your Compass Card at Albertsons or Vons stores throughout San Diego County, online, at Ticket Vending Machines at Trolley, COASTER, and SPRINTER stations, at the MTS Transit Store, NCTD Customer Service Centers, or select community outlets. For details or more information, visit

If you’re using Compass Cloud, simply select the ticket you’d like to use in the app, and show it to the bus operator or transit fare enforcement officer. Remember to always tap your Compass Card on a validator before you board the Trolley, COASTER, or SPRINTER, or tap on the fare box as you board the bus. Tapping your card keeps it current and tells the fare inspector or conductor you have a valid pass.

Did you know that Compass Cards have a limited life? If you see an “expired” notice on platform validators or bus fare boxes, or if your card isn’t being accepted at Ticket Vending Machines, it may be time for a replacement. Know your card’s expiration date and replace your Compass Card before it expires. 

MTS Services...

MTS provides services in the central, south, and east San Diego County regions. MTS operates three Trolley lines and an extensive local bus, express bus, and Rapid transit system. Visit MTS for information on routes, schedules, fares, and passes.

The Trolley consists of three lines: Blue, Orange, and Green, serving 53 stations and 53.5 total miles.

Local bus routes operate through major and minor corridors throughout the MTS service area.

Rapid 215, 235, 237, and Rapid Express routes (280 and 290) use the I-15 Express Lanes to transport riders from North County locations to their destinations in Downtown San Diego and Sorrento Mesa. Direct access ramps allow Rapid vehicles, as well as carpools, vanpools and FasTrak customers, to bypass general lanes and enter directly onto the Express Lanes. Rapid 215 serves Mid-City communities, operating between San Diego State University and Downtown San Diego.

NCTD Services...

The NCTD service area covers 1,020 square miles of northern San Diego County. NCTD runs two rail lines and one bus system: the COASTER, SPRINTER, and BREEZE. Visit NCTD for information on routes, schedules, fares, and passes.

The COASTER rail line connects north San Diego County with Downtown San Diego seven days a week via stations in Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Sorrento Valley, and Old Town.

The SPRINTER rail line runs 22 miles from Oceanside to Escondido, transporting passengers to work, school, shopping centers, and other activities via 15 stations.

BREEZE buses stop at or near major regional attractions and have stops at many north San Diego County beaches.

Other Rail Services...

Metrolink. Connect from San Diego to Orange, Los Angeles, and Riverside counties at the Oceanside Transit station. For schedules, fares, and routes visit Metrolink.

Amtrak. Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner serves coastal San Diego County, stopping at Oceanside, Solana Beach, and the downtown Santa Fe Depot. For schedules, fares, and routes visit Amtrak.

Coronado Ferry

Commuters traveling across the bay between San Diego and Coronado Island are eligible for free rides Monday through Friday on the Coronado Ferry. Morning ferries run between 5:15 and 8:35 a.m., and afternoon ferries run between 2:00 and 6:30 p.m. Learn more or view the commuter ferry schedule.

Park & Ride lots

With multiple locations throughout the region, Park & Ride lots are a free and convenient place to connect to your transit stop. View the Park & Ride page to find a lot near you.

Guaranteed Ride Home
You’ll never be stranded. If you need to leave work for an emergency, or your driver gets sick, the Guaranteed Ride Home program has you covered with an emergency ride home up to three times per year. Commuters can decide the best method for getting home from work including taxi, rideshare service such as Lyft or Uber, rental car, car share, or transit. To enroll, complete this registration form today.

For more transit information, call 511 and say “public transportation” or email

commuter spotlight