In 1967, the city owned San Diego Transit Corp. acquired the privately owned San Diego Transit Co. This page lists San Diego routes which can trace their histories back to the privately owned transit company, along with some routes which were added before 1975. In 1975, all routes became numbered, including some bus routes which had previously been lettered as described below. Some routes were later discontinued. Other routes were restructured going into the 21st Century, and are identified using the more recent numbers and names. Routes added after 1975 generally are not listed.

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 Bus

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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