San Diego and San Francisco both have impressive metro and bus systems . . . but do you know the correct phrasal verbs for buses, trains, metros, and subways? Get on, get off, get in: we agree with our students when they say that there are way too many phrasal verbs for public transportation! Not to worry: we will explain them all.

Phrasal Verbs for Public Transportation

Get in

Definition 1: to enter a taxi, car.

  • We got in a cab on the corner of 5th and Market.

Definition 2: when a car, train, airplane, or bus arrives.

  • His plane gets in at 9 am.

Get out of

Definition: to exit a taxi, car.

  • He dropped his wallet as he got out of the taxi.

Get on

Definition: to enter a train or bus or metro or airplane.

  • You can get on the train at the station near my house.

Get off (of)

Definition: to exit a train or bus or metro or airplane.

  • We got off (of) the train just as it started raining.


Public Transportation in San Diego and San Francisco

Have you mastered public transit yet? San Diego and San Francisco both have impressive public transportation systems. Learn all about them here, and keep in mind that this article covers ground transport: both SD and SF also have ferries to take you to places like Sausalito and Coronado!

San Diego’s Public Transportation

San Diego has a bus system, the trolley, the Coaster, and Amtrak. Southern San Diego County is run by MTS, while Northern San Diego County is run by the Northern County Transit District. CISL students will probably only use the Southern San Diego County system.

The website 511 provides information on each of the types of transit. Click here to access 511 and learn about San Diego’s public transportation (including bike routes)!

Fares vary depending on the type of transit you use and whether or not you buy a day ticket or a pass. Click here to access information on the fares and here to purchase a pass.


SD’s Bus System

San Diego’s bus routes cover most major metropolitan areas. Among other places, students have access to the beaches, Downtown, Hillcrest, and La Jolla with this system. For information on all the routes, click here. For a map, click here.

Bus Routes San Diego
San Diego’s extensive bus system.


SD’s Trolley System 

Students often use the Trolley to get to Old Town for tasty Mexican food, Mission Valley for awesome shopping, and San Ysidro outlets for great discounts on designer clothes. Click here to learn more about the trolley and see its schedules and pricing.

Trolley San Diego
San Diego’s Trolley System.



San Francisco’s Public Transportation

Ride a bike, take the famous cable cars, ride MUNI or BART . . . there are plenty of options for public transport in SF.

Muni System Map
MUNI is huge! And helpful!



San Francisco’s MUNI public transportation, which includes the buses and light rails, the cable cars, and the historic streetcars, is run by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. For fares, click here.

Buses and light rails

This speedy system covers a large portion of San Francisco. For information on its many lines and to see the schedules, click here.

Cable Cars

There are three cable cars: the California Cable Car, the Powell/Hyde Cable Car, and the Powell/Mason Cable Car. Click here to access information on each of these lines.


Historic Streetcars

Riding one of these is a “must” while living in San Francisco. The F Market & Wharves streetcar is an experience you won’t forget, so make sure to bring your camera! Click here for the schedule, and remember that there is usually a wait for this experience (especially during the warmer months).


Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)

Are you leaving the immediate San Francisco area? You need BART! Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) connects the San Francisco Peninsula with Oakland, Berkeley, Fremont, Walnut Creek, Dublin/Pleasanton and other cities in the East Bay. Click here to learn about its schedules and pricing.