Old Town Transit Center

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Old Town Transit Center
SDT Old Town1.jpg
A Green Line trolley approaching Old Town Transit Center in 2008
Other namesSan Diego–Old Town
Old Town San Diego
Location4005 Taylor Street
San Diego, California
Coordinates32°45′19″N 117°11′58″W / 32.7552°N 117.1995°W / 32.7552; -117.1995Coordinates: 32°45′19″N 117°11′58″W / 32.7552°N 117.1995°W / 32.7552; -117.1995
Owned byNorth County Transit District
Line(s)Surf Line
Platforms2 side platforms (Amtrak / COASTER)
2 side platforms, 1 island platform (San Diego Trolley)
Tracks2 (Amtrak / COASTER)
2 (San Diego Trolley)
ConnectionsBus transport MTS: 8, 9, 10, 28, 30, 35, 44, 83, 84, 88, 105, 150
Parking437 "Park and Ride" lot spaces, with 350+ overflow spaces
Bicycle facilitiesYes
Disabled accessYes
Other information
Station codeOLT (Amtrak)
Fare zone3 (COASTER)
2018350,518[1]Increase 16.7% (Amtrak)
Preceding station BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak Following station
Solana Beach Pacific Surfliner San Diego
Preceding station North County Transit District Following station
Sorrento Valley COASTER San Diego
Preceding station San Diego Trolley Following station
Washington Street Green Line Morena/Linda Vista
Future services
Preceding station San Diego Trolley Following station
Washington Street Blue Line
Tecolote Road

The Old Town Transit Center, also known as San Diego–Old Town station or Old Town San Diego station, is an intermodal transportation station located in the Old Town neighborhood of San Diego, California. It is served by Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner, the COASTER commuter rail service, and the San Diego Trolley, as well as numerous San Diego Metropolitan Transit System bus lines.

The station is located at the intersection of Rosecrans Street/Taylor Street and Pacific Highway, adjacent to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park and the freeway intersection of Interstate 5 and Interstate 8. It is also located about two miles southeast of SeaWorld San Diego and Mission Bay, providing access to the northernmost beaches in the city of San Diego. Free parking (Park & Ride) for up to 24-hours is available in the Transit Center lots.


The Old Town Transit Center was built in the early 1990s, and San Diego Trolley's North/South Line was extended here on June 16, 1996.[2] In November 1997, the line, renamed the Blue Line,[3] was extended into Mission Valley.[2] When the Green Line service was introduced with the opening of the Mission Valley East extension on July 10, 2005,[2] the Blue Line's northern terminus was pushed back to this station, which also served as the Green Line's western terminus. During a system redesign on September 2, 2012, as part of the Trolley Renewal Project, MTS extended the western terminus of the Green Line from this station to 12th & Imperial Bayside Terminal and shortened the Blue Line's northern terminus to America Plaza.[4] The Special Event Line was eliminated; and instead, the Green Line added cars and offer more frequent service to Petco Park, San Diego Convention Center, Aztec Stadium and Viejas Arena at San Diego State University when necessary.[4]


Commuter and intercity rail[edit]

The Old Town Transit Center hosts passenger trains operating on Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner intercity rail route and on the COASTER commuter rail line. Of the 22 weekday Amtrak Pacific Surfliner trains operating in San Diego, 18 of them stop at the Old Town Transit Center,[5] though the Surfliner trains operating at Old Town do not offer checked luggage service, and stop at Old Town to board passengers (northbound trains) or detrain passengers (southbound trains) only, respectively.

Amtrak ridership at Old Town Transit Center has exploded over the last two years. In Fiscal Year 2011, there were just 22,867 boardings and detrainings at Old Town[6] (which was a 5.79% increase over Fiscal Year 2010). In Fiscal Year 2012, boardings and detrainings at Old Town rose to 61,118, a 167% increase over FY2011.[7] As of Fiscal Year 2013, the Amtrak ridership figure has continued to rise, to 135,749 boardings and detrainings, a further 122% increase over FY2012.[8] (There has been a corresponding decrease in Amtrak boardings at the Santa Fe Depot in Downtown San Diego over this same period, possibly indicating that some Amtrak boardings have been relocating from Santa Fe Depot to Old Town over the past two years.) Of the 74 California stations served by Amtrak, the Old Town Transit Center was the 25th-busiest in Fiscal Year 2013, boarding or detraining an average of approximately 372 passengers daily.[8]

San Diego Trolley[edit]

Old Town Transit Center is also a light rail station on the San Diego Trolley's Green Line. This station originally served as that line's terminus, until a system realignment in September 2012 extended the Green Line though Old Town to Downtown San Diego.[4]

Once the Trolley's Mid-Coast extension is completed, the Blue Line will be re-extended through this station to serve the University City area,[9] and so the Blue Line will once again serve Old Town by approximately 2021. In July 2015, a 30-year naming rights agreement between MTS and UC San Diego Health was announced; as a result of this agreement, the Blue Line will be renamed "UC San Diego Blue Line" and the Old Town Transit Center will become "Old Town UC San Diego Health South".[10]

Bus service[edit]

Old Town also operates as a bus transit center for San Diego Metropolitan Transit System's routes 8, 9, 10, 28, 30, 35, 44, 88, 105, and 150. There is an underground pedestrian tunnel linking bus terminals on both sides of the station with the trolley/train areas. Old Town is also served by university shuttles for University of California, San Diego and University of San Diego.[11][12]

Station layout[edit]

There are four tracks; two tracks are designated for the San Diego Trolley services, while the other two tracks are used for COASTER, Amtrak, and BNSF freight service.

Side platform, doors will open on the right
Track 1 San Diego Trolley Green Line.svg Green Line toward Santee Town Center (Morena/Linda Vista)
San Diego Trolley Blue Line.svg Blue Line (future service) toward University Towne Center (Tecolote Road)
Island platform, doors will open on the left
Track 2 San Diego Trolley Blue Line.svg Blue Line (future service) toward San Ysidro Transit Center (Washington Street)
San Diego Trolley Green Line.svg Green Line toward 12th & Imperial Transit Center (Washington Street)
Island platform, doors will open on the right
Track 3 Coaster icon.svg COASTER toward Oceanside Transit Center (Sorrento Valley)
     Pacific Surfliner toward San Luis Obispo (Solana Beach)
Track 4      Pacific Surfliner San Diego (Terminus)
Coaster icon.svg COASTER toward San Diego (Terminus)
Side platform, doors will open on the right

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, Fiscal Year 2018 - State of California" (pdf). Amtrak. June 2019. Retrieved 2019-12-25.
  2. ^ a b c Ristine, Jeff (July 23, 2006). "After 25 years, the trolley keeps on moving". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 2009-06-14.
  3. ^ "MTS Historical Timeline". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
  4. ^ a b c "September 2, 2012 Service Changes. Major Bus and Trolley Service Changes". San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. 2012. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
  5. ^ "Pacific Surfliner Schedule, effective January 14, 2014" (PDF) (PDF). Amtrak California. November 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-19.
  6. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, Fiscal Year 2011 – State of California" (PDF). Amtrak. December 2011. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  7. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, Fiscal Year 2012 – State of California" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2012. Retrieved 2013-08-13.
  8. ^ a b "Amtrak Fact Sheet, Fiscal Year 2013 – State of California" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
  9. ^ "Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project". San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). Retrieved 2013-04-16.
  10. ^ Schupp, Rob (16 July 2015). "The New Blue: Metropolitan Transit System Trolley Line to be Renamed UC San Diego Blue Line". MTS Media Center. Metropolitan Transit System. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  11. ^ University of California, San Diego
  12. ^ University of San Diego

External links[edit]