The San Diego Street Car Co. began operating horse cars in 1886. In 1891, the San Diego Electric Railway acquired the horse car system, and converted the system to electric operation. In subsequent years, the San Diego Electric Railway acquired various independent and suburban streetcar and bus companies. And in 1948, the San Diego Electric Railway was sold to the San Diego Transit Co., whose management favored the conversion of streetcar lines to buses. And the conversions were completed in 1949. And in 1967, San Diego Transit Co. became the city owned San Diego Transit Corp.
Streetcar routes were always assigned numbers, and bus routes were assigned letters. Although the later bus routes converted from streetcar routes retained the streetcar route numbers. And eventually, new bus routes were assigned numbers. In 1975, all letters were replaced with route numbers.
Only San Diego Transit Corp. routes are listed. Newer routes numbered above 200 are not listed. Groups of higher numbers were assigned to the suburban bus operators.
300's - North County Transit District
600's - National City Transit
700's - Chula Vista Transit
800's - County Transit System
900's - Contract operators
The 1982 opening of the Trolley marked the beginning of certain route changes, with certain routes formerly paralleling the Trolley either being discontinued, or being revised to operated as feeder routes connecting with the Trolley.
Discontinued route numbers are in parentheses. Dates after 1975 are not included.
Route Route Old Route Buses Introduced Number Name Number Streetcars Discontinued 1 El Cajon Blvd. F 9/ 8/25 New Bus 2 30th St. 2 4/24/49 Replace Streetcar 2 Airport A 2/26/67 New Bus 3 Mission Hills 3 6/ 1/47 Replace Streetcar 3 Ocean View 5 H 12/ 9/38 Replace Streetcar 4 Imperial Av.-Lomita Village 4 12/ 8/46 Replace Streetcar 5 Market St. F 12/ 2/47 New Bus 5 Market St.-College Grove D 11/ /28 New Bus 6 North Park 2/20/61 New Bus 7 East San Diego-La Mesa 7 4/24/49 Replace Streetcar 8 La Jolla-Scripps Hospital 16 R 9/16/40 Replace Streetcar 9 Pacific Beach T 4/24/44 New Bus 11 Adams Av.-Kensington-SDSU 11 4/24/49 Replace Streetcar 11 First Av. 5 5/ 1/28 Replace Streetcar 11 National Av.-Spring Valley K 6/10/26 New Bus 12 National City-Paradise Hills 1/30/55 New Bus 13 Allied Gardens-SE San Diego B 9/ 6/46 New Bus 13 Sweetwater 9/17/74 New Bus 13 Grantville-Fashion Valley 43 1975 New Bus 14 Serra Mesa H 8/15/52 New Bus 15 El Cajon Valley E 1913 Big Ben Stage Line 19 North Island 9 6/ 1/47 Replace Streetcar 20 Rancho Bernardo-N. County 9/11/72 New Bus 21 Mira Mesa 9/11/72 New Bus 27 Tierrasanta-Pacific Beach J 4/28/68 New Bus 27 Fashion Valley 80 8/18/74 New Bus 28 Rosecrans-Point Loma 13 L 2/18/37 Replace Streetcar 29 Chula Vista-Otay Mesa Z 6/20/39 New Bus 32 National City-San Ysidro O 9/15/46 New Bus 33 Imperial Beach-Otay Mesa 1975 New Bus 35 Ocean Beach 14 O 12/19/38 Replace Streetcar 36 SDSU-College Av. S 2/16/31 New Bus 41 La Jolla-Fashion Valley 8/18/74 New Bus 43 Allied Gardens 1975 New Bus 43 Downtown-Fashion Valley 1975 New Bus 44 Linda Vista-Clairemont 4 V 5/26/41 New Bus 50 Clairemont Exp. 4/24/72 New Bus 55 National City-SDSU 5 11/19/50 New Bus 80 Pacific Beach-SDSU 8/18/74 New Bus 81 Old Town-SDSU 80 8/18/74 New Bus 83 Reynard Way-Fashion Valley 43 1975 New Bus 84 Catalina Blvd.-Point Loma 6 K 9/16/48 New Bus 90 Parkway Plaza Exp. 9/15/74 New Bus 105 National City-SDSU 5 11/19/50 New Bus 105 Clairemont 5 C 6/ /15 La Jolla Stage Line 110 Lomita Village Exp. 4/24/72 New Bus 115 Fletcher-El Cajon E 10/ 1/61 New Bus 150 University TC Exp. 4/24/72 New BusA portion of route 105 was originally operated by La Jolla Stage Line, acquired by San Diego Electric Railway effective 1/10/30. And route 15 was originally operated by Big Ben Stage Line, acquired 7/1/27 by San Diego Electric Railway.
Routes 9, 35, and 44 previously operated into downtown San Diego, subsequently revised to connect with Trolley extension. Routes 90 and 110 were subsequently discontinued, as redundant to Trolley.
Former route 12 and an extension of route 13 were replaced with service operated by National City Transit. Several other routes were assumed by contract operators, renumbered in the 900's.
The San Diego Electric Railway operated two longer distance streetcar lines which could be considered interurban lines. In 1907, line "NC" opened south through National City to Chula Vista, and was replaced with bus route N effective 1/10/30. Route N had been introduced 8/28/22, supplementing the rail line. That corridor is now served by the new Trolley.
The route north to La Jolla opened in 1924, and was replaced with buses 9/16/40.
Electric Interurban Railways In California
Includes further information on these interurban railways.
El Cajon Valley Line - served El Cajon, Santee, Lakeside, Gillespie Field.
Homer Heller Co. - served Escondido, Oceanside.
City Of Oceanside Transportation System - city service in Oceanside, also served Carlsbad, Camp Pendleton.
San Diego Economy Line - served San Diego, Campo.