Transportation in Tijuana: San Diego Trolley
With the border of Mexico less than 20 miles from downtown San Diego, millions of people travel to Tijuana from San Diego every year. While some drive, arguably the easiest way to cross the Mexican border is by taking the San Diego Trolley.
How to Take the San Diego Trolley to Tijuana
From downtown San Diego, a trip to the Mexican border will take about 45 minutes on the Imperial Way blue line. The blue line travels throughout downtown San Diego and connects to the city’s other green and orange lines. To get to Tijuana, you will need to get on the blue line at any station going south toward San Ysidro. You will take the line all the way to the end and get off at San Ysidro.
A trolley ticket costs just a few dollars each way, regardless of where you get on and off. A round-trip is only a little more and is the same price as a day pass. Depending on your plans, it might be more economical to get a day pass instead of a round-trip ticket. The trolley arrives approximately every 15 minutes and is generally an easy way to get around the city.
How to Get to the Border
After arriving in San Ysidro, there is a short walk to the Mexican border. Walk towards the left side of the main San Ysidro transit center building and head south. There will be signs in both English and Spanish that lead the way to the well-known swivel gates and Mexican custom lines that lead to Tijuana. Passing through immigration into Mexico is typically an easy process, but keep in mind that it usually takes much longer to cross back into the United States. You will take a walkway that goes over the four lanes of traffic coming in and out of Mexico.
Where to Go Once You Enter Mexico
Once you cross the Mexican border, it is a 30-minute walk to downtown Tijuana. There’s plenty to do and see on the way, but if you prefer to take a cab, there are always many cabs lined up when you exit immigration. Be sure to negotiate the cab price if you choose to take one into downtown Tijuana. If you prefer to travel to another city other than Tijuana, there is a bus bay next to the border that will take you to cities like Ensenada.
Returning to San Diego from Tijuana
When you plan your trip, make sure you allocate enough time to return to San Diego. Immigration can be stricter when crossing back into the United States and lines often take hours. The last trolley departs San Ysidro at 12:58 a.m., so be sure to head toward the border with plenty of time to pass customs and immigration.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about how to travel from San Diego to Tijuana by trolley.