Riding Trains to Tijuana

Part of the series: 45°N to 41°S Portland, OR to Puerto Varas, Chile by Public Transit San Ysidro/Tijuana Trolley by Global Greenways
San Ysidro/Tijuana Trolley, a photo by Global Greenways on Flickr.

South of San Francisco, our trip was full of trains!

We rode the SF MUNI streetcar to our craigslist rideshare. She drove us all the way to Pasadena. CicLAvia, Los Angeles’ experiment in a car free Sunday event had occurred the day before and the front page of the Los Angeles Times bragged how, for once, it was easier to bike across town than drive!

Pasadena was not a great place to be on foot, with giant avenues, speeding cars, and endless parking lots. Down at the Pasadena Rose Bowl we found where all the pedestrians and bicyclists are hidden! They all drive down to the Rose Bowl to jog & bike around a really nice sidewalk and bike lane loop.

We had been confused about the lack of people in Southern California, especially with the perfect weather. But, everyone seemed to be half human/half car hybrids.

Escaping L.A. by transit was easier than we expected. We rode the L.A. Metro Gold Line to the downtown Union Station.

The light rail pulled right into the main train yard for Union Station and we began the hunt for how to flee Los Angeles for San Diego. Initially, the Amtak Pacific Surfliner seemed like the intuitive route. We did some research and discovered that it was much more inexpensive to take two commuter trains to San Diego than to ride one Amtrak. So, we hopped on the Metrolink to Oceanside and watched the graffiti and concrete waterways of L.A. disappear into cookie cutter suburbs.

The Metrolink dropped us off in Oceanside, next to the sandy beach where surfers bobbed offshore in the waves. We crossed the tracks and boarded the Coaster, which delivered us into downtown San Diego at sunset.

San Diego was a much more hopping city than i had remembered. People out and about enjoying the nightlife scene and overflowing restaurant patios crowded the sidewalks. We met some of the local pedicab drivers, who were mostly immigrants pedaling tourists for the summer.

The San Diego to San Ysidro trolley runs right through the center of San Diego. We hopped on it and rode through town. Masses of High School students boarded at one stop, flocks of factory workers from the shipyards at another, almost everyone headed to the border crossing.

At the end of the line, we stared at the Border. The mystery of Mexico lay beyond.

We had traveled from the Canadian Border to the Mexican border by transit and hitchhiking. Now we only had 6000+ miles left to make it to Christmas dinner in Puerto Varas, Chile.


Please follow along our journeys and investigations as we share our stories and mobility lessons from Latin America.

Twitter: @GlobalGreenways
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/globalgreenways/
Facebook: Globe Greenways
Email: infogreenways@gmail.com

45°N to 41°S Portland, Oregon to Puerto Varas, Chile by Public Transit

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