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MTS Forwards Recommendations to Lower Youth Pass Cost and Allowing Free Transfers

03/12/21

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) Board of Directors yesterday recommended fare changes that would cut costs for Youth one-way fares and allow free transfers for one-way fares within two hours of the first boarding. The recommended changes will next go to the North County Transit District (NCTD) for its recommendation and then to the San Diego Association of Governments Transportation Committee for final approval.

“This has been a tremendous process to involve the public and evolve a fare policy recommendation that will provide riders with many benefits and prioritize equity,” said Nathan Fletcher, MTS Board Chair, and Chair, San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “These fare changes are truly a reflection of what our communities want. I’d like to thank everyone who has been a part of this process, including the MTS Board of Directors, and I look forward to working with my colleagues at NCTD and SANDAG to move this forward.”

The MTS staff proposal included many recommendations to accommodate the new fare collection system PRONTO. If approved by NCTD and SANDAG, these changes would take effect when the Compass Card system is replaced by PRONTO in mid-2021. Changes include: Adopt “best fare” functionality for PRONTO, allowing riders to earn day passes and monthly passes without paying for them upfront; Reduce Youth one-way fares from $2.50 to $1.25; Allow free transfers for one-way fares within two hours of the first boarding for riders with PRONTO accounts; and Fund revenue shortfalls through fiscal year (FY) 2024 with Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds through 2024.