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          New Route
Number  Name                          Number     Streetcars Discontinued   Number

   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                992
   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
  10     University Limited                               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                968
  13     Allied Gardens-SE San Diego         B   9/ 6/46  New Bus
 (13)    Sweetwater                              9/17/74  New Bus              Disc.
  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   Disc.
  18     Camino Del Rio                                   New Bus
 (19)    North Island                     9      6/ 1/47  Replace Streetcar    Disc.
  20     Rancho Bernardo-N. County               9/11/72  New Bus
 (21)    Mira Mesa                               9/11/72  New Bus                921
  25     Clairemont Mesa                                  New Bus
  27     Tierrasanta-Pacific Beach           J   4/28/68  New Bus
 (27)    Fashion Valley                  80      8/18/74  New Bus              Disc.
  28     Rosecrans-Point Loma            13  L   2/18/37  Replace Streetcar
 (29)    Chula Vista-Otay Mesa               Z   6/20/39  New Bus                929
  30     Scripps Ranch                                    New Bus
  31     Miramar Rd.                                      New Bus
 (32)    National City-San Ysidro            O   9/15/46  New Bus                932
 (33)    Imperial Beach-Otay Mesa               1975      New Bus                933
  35     Ocean Beach                     14  O  12/19/38  Replace Streetcar
 (36)    SDSU-College Av.                    S   2/16/31  New Bus                936
 (40)    Fletcher Hills                                   New Bus              Disc.
  41     La Jolla-Fashion Valley                 8/18/74  New Bus
 (43)    Allied Gardens                         1975      New Bus                 13
 (43)    Downtown-Fashion Valley                1975      New Bus                  5 
  44     Linda Vista-Clairemont           4  V   5/26/41  New Bus
 (48)    Nobel Dr.                                        New Bus              Disc.
 (49)    La Jolla Village Dr.                             New Bus              Disc.
  50     Clairemont Exp.                         4/24/72  New Bus
 (55)    National City-SDSU               5     11/19/50  New Bus                955
  60     University City-Euclid Av.                       New Bus
 (70)    University Av.                                   New Bus              Disc.
 (80)    Pacific Beach-SDSU                      8/18/74  New Bus                 27
 (81)    Old Town-SDSU                   80      8/18/74  New Bus              Disc.
  83     Reynard Way-Fashion Valley      43     1975      New Bus
  84     Catalina Blvd.-Point Loma        6  K   9/16/48  New Bus
 (86)    Genesee Av.                                      New Bus              Disc.
  88     Hotel Circle                                     New Bus
 (89)    University City-Sorento Valley                   New Bus              Disc.
 (90)    Parkway Plaza Exp.                      9/15/74  New Bus              Disc.
(101)    Oceanside                                        New Bus              Disc.
(105)    National City-SDSU               5     11/19/50  New Bus                955
 105     Clairemont                       5  C   6/  /15  La Jolla Stage Line
(110)    Lomita Village Exp.                     4/24/72  New Bus              Disc.
 110     Mira Mesa Exp.                                   New Bus
 115     Fletcher-El Cajon                   E  10/ 1/61  New Bus
 120     Kearny Mesa                                      New Bus
 150     University TC Exp.                      4/24/72  New Bus
(170)    City Heights Exp.                                New Bus              Disc.

A 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.


The 1952 "Mass Transportation's Directory" provides an interesting "snapshot", of what obscure bus companies had coexisted with the main transit providers.

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.

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