International Students: Transportation and Commuting Alternatives


If driving is the best option for you, here are some helpful tips and information to make your drive smooth and safe:

You may also visit our page about California Driver's Licenses.

Commuting Alternatives

The following information gives you many options to get to campus without driving. There are lots of commuting alternatives that allow you to save money and help the environment.

Commuter Student Services

Commuter Student Services is a resource center that shares off-campus housing information and enriches the lives of commuter students.


A vanpool is a 14-passenger vehicle where people ride together and split the costs.

UC San Diego has 25 vanpools coming from various locations in the county. Most monthly fares range from $46 to $80 per month. Work hours are generally 8 a.m. to  4:30 p.m. for UC San Diego vans.

Visit for more information.


Carpooling is riding with one or more other commuters.

You can choose to be the driver, rider or share and split the costs.

For more information, call Ride Link at (619) 237-POOL, or visit .

Buses & UCSD Shuttles

If you possess a UC San Diego ID, you can ride on all UC San Diego shuttle buses. For route info, visit .

Triton U-Pass is a universal transit pass program at UC San Diego that provides students unlimited ridership on all regional mass transit bus and trolley/light rail routes provided by MTS and NCTD (certain exclusions apply). For more details, visit . For route info, visit .

If these two alternatives do not accommodate you, you will have to purchase a transit pass online at or at the UC San Diego cashier, (858) 534-3725, Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.


With an average temperature of 71 degrees, the San Diego region is one of the best places in the country for people to commute on two wheels. Biking can save you money and help the environment.

It is also easy to combine public transportation with riding your bike.  All busses now have bike racks, and Coaster rail cars and trolley cars also have space for bikes.  

Because so many students bike to campus, UCSD has great resources for bicyclists

Coast express rail

The "Coaster" rail line runs from Oceanside to San Diego, with stops in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Sorrento Valley, and Old Town.

Sorrento Valley is the closest stop to the Salk Institute (close to UCSD), and a free shuttle bus is provided to get you to and from the Sorrento Station.

Schedules are available online at

Guaranteed ride home service

The regional GRH program provides an emergency ride home to commuters who carpool, vanpool, bike, walk, or use transit to get to work at least 3 times per week.

To be eligible, you must register with Ride Link by completing and signing an application form prior to needing the service. Don’t wait until you have an emergency to enroll!  Visit for more information.

See Also

Read more about the trolley line expansion planned from Old Town to UCSD.