Trip on the Coaster

For those of you who don't know, in San Diego County we have 5 different, interconnected, transit systems. MTS bus is the main bus system, the Breeze is the north county bus system, the Trolley is the light rail that services downtown to the Mexican border and east to Santee, the Sprinter is the brand new light rail that runs east-west in north county from Escondido to Oceanside along the 78 corridor.

This leaves the Coaster. Coaster is not light rail. It is heavy rail, regular rail. I don't know what to call it. It's basically a train. It runs from downtown only making 6 other stops on it's way to Oceanside. Coaster is the most expensive form of public transportation (short of some of the DART vans or pick-up style transport) but it is perhaps the most glorious.

My Coaster ride started at the second stop in Old Town. When I boarded I made special note of where the bike parking was and headed upstairs(!) found a nice seat with a table where I could do some brainstorming.

At this point I should mention that I was on my way to an interview. So that explains the lack of bicycle and why I needed to brainstorm questions I needed answered and what I might be asked during the interview.

Out the window from Old Town you get to see Mission Bay for a bit before the train ducks into a canyon. Then you are, it seems, miles from civilization - in a canyon with no view of man-made structures. You come out of the canyon and you are at the Sorrento Valley stop. From there you continue along the bottom of the valley where you can only see the business buildings at the top of the hills (this area is where most of tech work is done in San Diego, including most of the Qualcomm campus).

From there you come out of the valley and cross a field then back to the beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean. You pass right between the beach and the west side of the Del Mar Racetrack. Nothing but beautiful views all the way up to Oceanside.

I am very hopeful to get the job I interviewed with. Aside from it getting me back into my field, the owners are really great and the environment seems to be excellent. While it may be a paycut for me (very slight and made up for once benefits kick in) and a much longer commute (in miles anyway), any loss of income is amply paid for by a daily trip on the wonderful Coaster.

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