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The Ultimate Guide To The San Diego Transport System For UCSD Newbies

My first week at UCSD was, to say the least chaotic, because I got lost taking EVERY bus route and maybe Uber I took (including the campus loop). So here's what I have learned:

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1. Get your TRITON U-PASS!

UCSD provides students with a great deal with the San Diego Public Transport system that we all pay in our yearly tuition. Because of this, make sure you get the U-pass sticker on your student ID as soon as you move in so that you can move around without paying extra.

Usually during the first few weeks of class these stickers are distributed in front of the Bookstore so swing by and get yours.

2. One Bus Away App and map services

First and foremost, download right this moment the OneBusAway app in your phone so that you can see live info on the bus routes, the stops near you and the schedules. Also, make sure google maps/ any kind of map you have in your phone is working in case you have to do a lot of walking and your sense of orientation is like mine: non-existent.

Also, I find the Transit San Diego App really helpful too: plan your trips and review schedules for bus, trolly, sprinter and train routes.

3. Make yourself familiar with the Bus routes that stop at UCSD

First of all, make sure you know were Gilman & Myers Bus stop is. This was my grand discovery after a bunch of Uber Rides :( You can find the bus stop if you walk down by Price Center towards Yogurt World (don't pretend you haven't had this delicacy) and then turn right; you will find Gilman Dr. and the stop will be to your left. Also, be careful where you take the bus: if you walk to the other side of the street (closer to the medical dept. buildings), buses usually loop towards the medical center, you want to take buses leaving from the stop closest to Price Center in most cases.

Next Identify the most important bus routes that stop at UCSD

1. Route 30: will get you to Westfield UTC, La Jolla (SIO, Caroline's Cafe- Great brunch-, La Jolla Shores, the beautiful La Jolla cove). It strolls down all the way through Pacific Beach and ends at downtown San Diego (Little Italy, Gaslamp Quarter)

2. Route 41: Runs through the VA Medical Center, stops at UTC and will also take you to Clairemont (TARGET!!, lots of restaurants, Party City, the Home Depot, Sprouts, Khol's, and the DMV). Also, if you want to do some awesome shopping this route stops at Fashion Valley (which I believe to be the biggest and best shopping mall in San Diego. Plus, Cheesecake Factory!)

3. Route 101: This bus takes the 1 north towards Del Mar, (stopping by Torrey Pines Natural Reserve, the Gliderport and the Sanford Consortium) and continues north to Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad and Oceanside NCTS)

4. Route 150: This is my favorite because its the express route towards downtown. It doesn't run on Sundays but it will take you to Old Town (Historical center of SD, Awesome Mexican food, Train Station) -Monday thru Saturday- and Downtown San Diego (Gaslamp Quarter, Social Security Building, Little Italy)- Weekdays only- in a very short amount of time.

5. Route 201(Superloop): runs counterclockwise and will take you to La Jolla Village Square (Ralph's, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, CVS Pharmacy , Marshalls, Supercuts, AMC Theaters, and most importantly: Chipotle) it also stops at the UCSD Medical Center, Scripps Memorial hospital, many condominums close to UCSD, and the last stop is at Westfield UTC, the nearest shopping mall. (Forever 21, Macy's, American Eagle, Arclight Cinema, 24 hour fitness, Apple,and a variety of restaurants)

5. Route 202 (Superloop): runs through the same places, just clockwise, so make sure you choose wisely to use the shortest route.

Although there are other routes that go to Rancho Bernardo and Mira Mesa, I think that as a beginner, these 5 routes will help you get around somewhat easily. All the info on San Diego Metropolitan Transport System here

Other services when you can't catch the bus

Because the buses only run 6am to 10:30pm, trust me, you don't want to be stuck without a ride. Apps like UBER and LYFT not only have awesome first-time user offers (uber, lyft) but also, they guarrantee an excelent and safe door to door service.

With Uber for example, you can use the Pool option to get a lower fare and share the ride, the UberX option which I find to be my favorite and even the UberAccess option if you or your friends need special accomodations. What the different options offer here.

Regardless, try to keep it on the safe side. Download the apps just in case you need a ride someday.

A.S Safe Rides


Because our school is also concerned with your safety, Associated Students has entered a pilot program in association with UBER to provide students with a ride in case of an emergency. So follow the link and use the code if you ever find yourself in need.

Stay tuned for some info about trains!

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