From Santee to San Ysidro, trolley cars wrapped in pink and emblazoned with the name Tijuana are circulating through San Diego County in a promotional campaign that aims to persuade greater numbers San Diegans and visitors to the city to cross the border.
The two trolley cars—one on the Metropolitan Transit System Blue Line, the other on the Green Line—come courtesy Baja California’s Tourism Secretariat. “We said, ‘We want to have stronger presence in California’,” secretary Oscar Escobedo Carignan said Tuesday.
The $200,000 effort is scheduled to last through the end of August, and aims to capitalize on summertime crowds riding the trolley for events such as Padres baseball games at Petco Park and next month’s Comic-Con Convention.
The color is rosa Mexicana or Mexican pink, Escobedo said. The design incorporates such iconic Tijuana images as a lucha libre mask, a soccer ball, a food truck, and the outline of the IMAX dome of the Tijuana Cultural Center.
A survey by the tourism secretariat showed that of 27 million visitors to the state in 2016, nearly 16 million came from abroad; the great majority of the foreign visitors entering from California. The study also showed that the top tourism activity was gastronomy, followed by shopping, entertainment and medical appointments.
“The kinship between Baja California and California is evident, particularly between San Diego and Tijuana,” Escobedo said.
Helping celebrate the new pink trolleys on Tuesday were two San Diego business leaders: Joe Terzi, president and CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority, and Jerry Sanders, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.
“We’re connected in more ways than we can even mention,” Terzi said, “the culinary scene, the beer scene, we just happen to have a border between us, but we are intertwined and inter-related between our two great cultures and two great cities.”
Sanders said the trolley cars “are not just for tourists,” but “remind San Diegans that there’s a venue south of the border 15 miles from right here, where they can go down, and have a tremendous amount of fun.”