Getting Around San Diego

Henley Doherty | Asst. Business Editor | The USD Vista | @ralphlaurhen

If you don’t have a car on campus, it can be difficult to find a ride. Calling up a traditional cab isn’t cheap — an Orange Cab taxi usually costs around $20 plus tip for a ride from campus to Mission Beach. There are many other methods of getting around San Diego that are more convenient and cost-friendly to students without access to a car.

Lyft, Uber, and Sidecar are three of the most popular taxi services in San Diego and the US. They allow you to find a ride fast and at a low price. Most of us already know about and use these cab companies, but how do they really compare to each other?

All of these taxi services require that you download an app, which makes it simple to request a ride. You give your location and the number of passengers to a taxi driver through the apps, and you are notified of the nearest taxi. These app-based taxi services are generally faster than requesting a cab from standard taxi companies. They are often cheaper, too, depending on how many people you are sharing a ride with.

Lyft cars stand out from the crowd as most are decorated with a giant fuzzy pink mustache, and some are even themed. Uber is generally more professional, but usually costs slightly more than requesting a Lyft.

Both Lyft and Uber engage in surge pricing, meaning that they increase costs during rush hours and when traffic is especially heavy.

Unlike Lyft and Uber, Sidecar allows the user to choose which driver and car they want. Generally, Sidecar also runs slightly  cheaper than Lyft and Uber.

In addition to these taxi services, there are many other options for getting around the city. If you want to drive yourself, Zip Cars can be rented out in advance through the Zip Car website for about $9 per hour, or about $70 for a full day. These are incredibly convenient because they are located in various spots throughout campus..

If you don’t mind public transport, the San Diego Trolley is another cheap way to see the city. After the purchase of a $2 Compass Card, a full-day pass only costs $5. The Trolley will take you anywhere from Fashion Valley to the Gaslamp Quarter to Qualcomm Stadium.

Aside from the Trolley, USD also offers a tram that goes from campus to Old Town.

By taking advantage of transportation options such as these, you have the opportunity to more easily stick to your budget and save more money to spend at your actual destinations.