Shortly after starting my new job in Calsbad I needed to leave my car at the mechanic for a day to be checked before getting smogged and I looked into other ways to get to work. The Coaster is a local commuter train operated by the North County Transit District that parallels the 5 and the coastline between downtown San Diego and Oceanside. I catch a bus 1 block from my house that goes directly to the Old Town Transit Center. 10 minutes later The Coaster comes along, I find an upper level seat, sit back, and let someone else do the driving. It’s a smooth, fast, quiet ride with spectacular views of Mission Bay, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Encinatas, and Leaucadia. The train crosses 3 estuaries and lagoons and goes right along the coastline in many places allowing great views of the sand and surf. No matter how early there are always surfers out in the waves.
In Carlsbad there's a shuttle bus timed to meet the train that goes right by Invitrogen putting me at work about 7:40am. At the end of the day the bus comes back at 5:15 and gets to the train station about 10 minutes ahead of the 5:45 return train. Sometimes I’ll leave work a half hour early and get an earlier train. The downside is door to door the whole trip is about twice as long as driving so I’ve been doing it just a couple of times a week. The cost is about the same as gas, but savings in wear and tear on my car, and on me, plus the views and the fun of it make it well worth the time.