Arlene Lighthall | Luzon Avenue
|photo illustration Virginia Lawrence.
Click on photo to enlarge.
How many of you have even looked at the 101 bus schedule, let alone ridden the bus? It passes through town every half hour during the week, stopping at 15th, 13th, 11th, and 4th Streets. You’ll be excited to see how many places you can go. All kinds of people ride the bus: students, professors, nurses, some homeless and ordinary people like me. If you feel nervous about the first time, do a trial run. Have exact change ($1.50 or 75 cents for seniors) and ride to UTC. This trip will give you the whole southern route of 101, or go in the opposite direction.
I take the bus to Scripps, to the University, or to UTC. Parking at Scripps costs $3. You’ll save enough for another bus ride. The bus also stops at the Hilton, close to the entrance to the Torrey Pines Preserve. Have you ever tried to find a parking spot at UCSD? And paid for it? I’ve volunteered at the Mandel Weiss and stepped off the bus at the front door. Wherever you are going, you’ll be a winner with Bus 101, almost like a shared limo. The key that opens the magic door to the bus (Breeze), local train (Sprinter), and Coaster to downtown San Diego is www.nctd.com.
Or take the bus north to spend some time on Cedros in Solana Beach. Encinitas has many good restaurants on 101. Go further north to antique-browse in Carlsbad or on a Sunday to attend a performance at the New Village Arts Theater. A stop at the end off the line puts you near the lovely Oceanside Museum of Art.
You might also enjoy giving yourself a vacation day on the bus. A few years ago a friend and I started for Oceanside in the morning, caught a bus to ride through Camp Pendleton and to Fallbrook, where we stopped for lunch. Another bus took us on to Escondido. Then we rode the Sprinter back to Oceanside to get the bus home. What fun!
When I drive, I see mostly the pavement in front of me, or cars coming in all directions. On public transportation I see roadside businesses that I never dreamed existed and pass on the Sprinter through areas where no cars drive. You can even take the bus to San Clemente, San Marcos, Pala and Ramona.
Once a veteran, consider a trip to Legoland or the Carlsbad outlet or Museum of Making Music. Consider how much fun it could be going from Solana Beach ((bus # 308) to Escondido and from there to choose from nine more routes, the Sprinter, or even the Greyhound. Each bus has copies of the popular routes. Take some friends and make a day of it. I can hardly wait to hop on again.