Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Free Ride Day – a few left behind

How many trolley riders will end up buying fares?

The Green Line carried 37 percent more than a year ago.
The Green Line carried 37 percent more than a year ago.

On Oct. 2, a Tuesday, everyone could board public transit and go all over the region – how about El Cajon to San Marcos and back? – for nothing; yes, no fare, no tickets, no questions, free of charge. It was the first Free Ride Day in San Diego County ever. Families were out. At Old Town, a mom and dad pointed across the trolley tracks at a beast in teal and blue that had just roared in, the bells and whistles sounding. “See,” the mom said to her two wide-eyed young sons. “That's the Coaster.” Speaking of which, the Coaster – a train from Santa Fe Depot downtown to Oceanside and back – could be ridden free, too, along with the North County Transit District's Sprinter, an east-west run between Oceanside and Escondido, and the network of teal and blue buses called the Breeze.

Sponsored
Sponsored

The North County district reported that some 7,850 riders boarded the Coaster on Free Ride Day, a spike of nearly 70 percent compared to the same first Tuesday in October a year ago. In San Diego, the Metropolitan Transit System counted about 59,000 more riders than last year, a total of 368,000 or 17 percent more than before. The Green Line proved most popular as it transported some 46,500 riders, 37 percent more than a year ago.

So one might expect to see an unusually large crowd on the platforms at the 12th and Imperial transit hub and not be surprised by a festive air among some of them. Waiting for the 9 pm Blue Line Trolley, for example, a crowd of 20-somethings shared laughs over their free day's journey into evening on the region's public transportation system. One man said he was lucky to have heard about Free Ride Day because he otherwise would have plunked down five bucks for a day pass. And those who had put 30 days' worth of rides on their Compass Cards with hard cash this month? Hey, shouldn't they get credit for an extra day...having already paid?

And so it was that when the Blue Line to San Ysidro pulled into 12th and Imperial a few minutes after its scheduled 9 pm arrival, festiveness filled the air. Then an inordinate number of riders scurried out of the last two cars and, for reasons not immediately apparent, hustled into the two front cars. The laughs turned to anxious looks as more and more riders re-packed themselves into the front two cars. They stood four or five deep in the aisles in a tight clusters, some of them new to the system and lured aboard by the freebies. One young man surveyed the situation and decided there was no way he could squeeze in. He ran back to the third car, examined the array of empty seats, got on, but was told no. The two rear cars were about to be uncoupled from the rest, and that's why all the passengers had to leave.

One woman was sitting on the bench for bus number 929 heading for the Iris Avenue Trolley stop and transit center. She'd been seconds late for the run that left precisely on time at 9:04 pm, while the passengers who'd not opted out of the train ride continued to make shuffling steps back from the doors so the trip could at last get under way. Asked about it, MTS spokesman Rob Schupp said half the cars are usually uncoupled when the 9 pm Blue Line south arrives at the 12th and Imperial hub. “It is standard operating procedure for normal days,” he wrote in an email. “But probably should not have happened if there were big passenger loads.”

The latest copy of the Reader

Please enjoy this clickable Reader flipbook. Linked text and ads are flash-highlighted in blue for your convenience. To enhance your viewing, please open full screen mode by clicking the icon on the far right of the black flipbook toolbar.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

German Cultural Minister tried to cancel Wagner

Wagner doesn't appeal to the young because he makes too many demands
Next Article

German Cultural Minister tried to cancel Wagner

Wagner doesn't appeal to the young because he makes too many demands
The Green Line carried 37 percent more than a year ago.
The Green Line carried 37 percent more than a year ago.

On Oct. 2, a Tuesday, everyone could board public transit and go all over the region – how about El Cajon to San Marcos and back? – for nothing; yes, no fare, no tickets, no questions, free of charge. It was the first Free Ride Day in San Diego County ever. Families were out. At Old Town, a mom and dad pointed across the trolley tracks at a beast in teal and blue that had just roared in, the bells and whistles sounding. “See,” the mom said to her two wide-eyed young sons. “That's the Coaster.” Speaking of which, the Coaster – a train from Santa Fe Depot downtown to Oceanside and back – could be ridden free, too, along with the North County Transit District's Sprinter, an east-west run between Oceanside and Escondido, and the network of teal and blue buses called the Breeze.

Sponsored
Sponsored

The North County district reported that some 7,850 riders boarded the Coaster on Free Ride Day, a spike of nearly 70 percent compared to the same first Tuesday in October a year ago. In San Diego, the Metropolitan Transit System counted about 59,000 more riders than last year, a total of 368,000 or 17 percent more than before. The Green Line proved most popular as it transported some 46,500 riders, 37 percent more than a year ago.

So one might expect to see an unusually large crowd on the platforms at the 12th and Imperial transit hub and not be surprised by a festive air among some of them. Waiting for the 9 pm Blue Line Trolley, for example, a crowd of 20-somethings shared laughs over their free day's journey into evening on the region's public transportation system. One man said he was lucky to have heard about Free Ride Day because he otherwise would have plunked down five bucks for a day pass. And those who had put 30 days' worth of rides on their Compass Cards with hard cash this month? Hey, shouldn't they get credit for an extra day...having already paid?

And so it was that when the Blue Line to San Ysidro pulled into 12th and Imperial a few minutes after its scheduled 9 pm arrival, festiveness filled the air. Then an inordinate number of riders scurried out of the last two cars and, for reasons not immediately apparent, hustled into the two front cars. The laughs turned to anxious looks as more and more riders re-packed themselves into the front two cars. They stood four or five deep in the aisles in a tight clusters, some of them new to the system and lured aboard by the freebies. One young man surveyed the situation and decided there was no way he could squeeze in. He ran back to the third car, examined the array of empty seats, got on, but was told no. The two rear cars were about to be uncoupled from the rest, and that's why all the passengers had to leave.

One woman was sitting on the bench for bus number 929 heading for the Iris Avenue Trolley stop and transit center. She'd been seconds late for the run that left precisely on time at 9:04 pm, while the passengers who'd not opted out of the train ride continued to make shuffling steps back from the doors so the trip could at last get under way. Asked about it, MTS spokesman Rob Schupp said half the cars are usually uncoupled when the 9 pm Blue Line south arrives at the 12th and Imperial hub. “It is standard operating procedure for normal days,” he wrote in an email. “But probably should not have happened if there were big passenger loads.”

Comments
Sponsored

The latest copy of the Reader

Please enjoy this clickable Reader flipbook. Linked text and ads are flash-highlighted in blue for your convenience. To enhance your viewing, please open full screen mode by clicking the icon on the far right of the black flipbook toolbar.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Del Mar Beer Fest, Shark Summer at Birch Aquarium

Events July 21-July 24, 2024
Next Article

Basketry Workshop, Hulu’s Animayhem Factory

Events July 27-July 31, 2024
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.