New bus and train trips get you to the ballpark

OCEANSIDE — North County Transit District will make it more convenient to watch the Padres this season. NCTD will run two transportation options to take fans to the 2009 San Diego Padres season at Petco Park. Padres fans can choose to take either the Coaster train to reach every home Padres game or the Breeze Express bus service along the inland route for Friday, Saturday and Sunday home games.
The new Coaster schedule began March 30 and includes 2009 Padres season train times. Coaster trains run for every home Padres game, including special trains on Sundays. Padres fans can reach the ballpark stress-free and without traffic, by riding the Coaster to downtown San Diego’s Santa Fe Depot, then transferring for free to the San Diego Trolley (with a valid round trip Coaster ticket) for the quick ride to the Gaslamp Quarter station. When leaving Petco Park after the game, fans can use their round-trip Coaster ticket for a free Trolley ride to Santa Fe Depot.
Regular Coaster round trip fares start at $12 for three-zone travel and $13 for four-zone trips. It is recommended passengers purchase a round-trip ticket for their travel, which includes transfers to the San Diego Trolley. Tickets are available at North County Coaster stations from ticket vending machines. Discounted Coaster fares are available for seniors (ages 60 or older) and persons with disabilities. Passengers should arrive at least 20 minutes before the scheduled train departure time to find parking and purchase tickets.
The Coaster special late-night return train from downtown San Diego will operate every Monday through Thursday evening for Padres home games. These special trains will depart downtown 50 minutes after the final out of the game or special event with an absolute departure time of midnight regardless of extra innings. After Friday night games, fans can catch the regularly scheduled Friday late night northbound Coaster train, which departs Santa Fe Depot at 10:45 p.m. If Friday night games run past 9:55 p.m., the northbound return train will leave 50 minutes after the final out of the game, with an absolute departure time of midnight. There will be no late-night Coaster service for weekday afternoon games beginning at 12:35 p.m.
The Padres have partnered with local transit agencies to offer transit riders a discount on Tuesday Padres tickets just for riding public transit to the game. Passengers simply show their valid transit ticket (San Diego Trolley, Coaster, day pass or monthly pass) at Petco Park and receive $6 off all tickets to Tuesday games priced $14 and above (excluding Right Field Pavilion and Western Metal Supply Building rooftop bleachers). In addition, monthly pass holders can buy Tuesday game tickets in advance at the Padres Advance Ticket Windows at the stadium. Transit Tuesdays run through September 2009.
Effective March 30, the Coaster’s new schedule features expanded Saturday service, now with six southbound and six northbound trains. The new schedule conveniently allows for Padres fans to reach the ballpark for a 7:05 pm. Saturday game. The suggested southbound train leaves Oceanside at 4:33 p.m. on Saturdays, making all stops along the route, and arrives downtown at 5:35 p.m. For the return trip, fans can catch the regularly scheduled Saturday late night northbound Coaster train, which departs Santa Fe Depot at 10:45 p.m. If Saturday night games run past 9:55 p.m., the northbound return train will leave 50 minutes after the final out of the game, with an absolute departure time of midnight.

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