How to get from the San Diego Airport to the Mexican border, via the Trolley
Flying to San Diego: Not only do have patients from Southern California, but many people come from all over the United States. For those who are flying in, we can arrange for transportation from the San Diego Airport, if you choose. Otherwise, it is simple to take public transportation from the airport to the border. Below you will find the instructions of how to get to the clinic from the airport of San Diego.
From the airport, you will need to go out to the sidewalk by the baggage claim and find the bust stop. There is a bus stop in front of each terminal, and if you have trouble spotting it, just ask at the information desk in the lobby. From the San Diego Airport, you ride the 992 MTS bus. This isn’t difficult to identify since it’s the only type of bus that can go all the way to the airport. It also features two colors: red and white. As you board the bus, you will need exact change to pay the drive $7, and he will give you a “day pass” for the MTS system, which includes the bus, as well as the electric train, a.k.a. the “Trolley”, and will cover your fare all the way to the border, Inform the driver that you’re going to the trolley so he can drop you off at the American Plaza Station. The bus will drop you off across the street from the train station, so when you get off the bus, go across Broadway, and stand on the right side of the platform, the side next to the building. Look for a train that says San Ysidro/Tijuana (blue line). Ride the trolley until you can reach its ultimate stop, which is right at the U.S. Customs area.
Getting off the trolley, walk South, down the platform on the side where the McDonalds is. Just follow the people. You will go up a ramp that leads to a gate that says “MEXICO” in big letters.
New Border Crossing Regulations:
1.- You must now have a US passport to cross the border:
Just like the US Government requires everyone crossing the border into the US to have passports, the Mexican Government also now requires all persons crossing into Mexico to have a passport. Things have historically been a little lax, but now they are tightening up on the regulations. Make sure you get your passport before crossing into Mexico, to avoid any delays or hassle, by the US Customs, as well as Mexican Customs.
If you haven’t yet gotten a US Passport, we strongly recommend that you get the “Passport Card”, rather than the “Passport Book”. You can actually apply for both, or either one. But the reason the Passport Card works better than the Book, is because it has the RFID electronic chip, which qualifies you to use the faster moving “Ready Lanes” either as a pedestrian or riding in a car. Here is a link to the government website: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/apply.html
2.- You will need to get a Tourist Visa at the border:
Pedestrian Crossing: If leave your car parked at the border, and are walking into Mexico, you will need to present your US passport, and fill out a tourist permit form. It will just take 5 minutes. However, make sure you keep your tourist permit on your person. In case you are stopped in Mexico for any reason, you will now have proof that you entered into the country legally. The cost of a tourist permit, to visit Tijuana for a week, is free. But, if you plan to stay for more than a week, plan to return for a second trip, or are thinking of going on to Rosarito or Ensenada, you will need to get the 180 day permit, costing $25.
Crossing the border by car: If you are stopped in Tijuana, you will need to show that you have legally crossed the border. So, even though you could just drive through Mexican Customs, and they don’t ask you for any documents, don’t neglect to first stop and get your tourist permit. The process will just take a few minutes.
When you first cross into Mexico, do NOT get into the lines of cars that are going through the lanes through for inspection. Rather, keep to the right, and go straight ahead to the area for Voluntary Declaration. Most of the cars going in here, and parking, are stopping to declare products that they purchased in the US, so they can pay the “Importation Tax”. But this is the same area where you will find the “Immigration” office, in order to get your tourist permit. Just park your car next to the others, and go into the building. Inside you will find the Immigration office, and tell them you want a tourist permit. It will be easiest if you just tell them you are coming to visit and shop, otherwise they will ask you for the exact address of the clinic, and hotel address where you are staying. Just a little less hassle.