The San Diego Trolley is the system that started the modern 'Light Rail System' craze in the United States when (what is now referred to as) the Blue Line opened from downtown to San Ysidro/International Boarder in July 1981 along a sparsely used freight ROW (which still sees minimal freight service). The terminus is San Ysidro is also just steps from Mexico. The system has expanded some since opening day to three lines and today it is both the third most ridden and third longest light rail system in the United States (locally always called Trolley). It is the only U.S. operator of U2s, and the only North American operator of low-floor U2s (Edmonton, 1978 and Calgary, May 1981 use the high-floor variant). The original blue line stations were extremely cheaply built with ground-level boarding and no genuine platforms. Newer stations have six inch high platforms. Orange and Blue Line trains run using exclusively side platform stations with slow on-board wheelchair lifts (similar to those on a bus) for ADA access. A wheelchair boarding delays an entire train. The newer Green Line runs mixed consists of low-floor S70s and SD100 (the intermediate trolley types, used on all 3 lines). Orange and Blue line stations have begun the tedious process of having actual eight inch platforms built or two inches added to the tops to allow S70 operations system wide by 2014 which should result in faster trip speeds. Base train service runs every 15 minutes on all 3 Lines with the exception of 7.5 minute service during rush hours on the ultra busy Blue Line, and only half-hourly service on the Orange and Green Lines on Sundays.
September 2, 2012:The retrofitting of all stations between Old Town and 12th & Imperial Transit Center now allow Avanto S70 Operations and the current service pattern with the Green Line extended to Downtown and Blue and Orange Lines cut back to their respective terminals occured. No new extensions opened. 2005-2012 Line Routings Map