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Proposed Fare Changes

Proposed Fare Changes Proposed Fare Changes

Proposed 2021 Fare Changes

The Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), North County Transit District (NCTD), and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) are proposing amendments to transit fares in 2021. If approved, these changes would take effect when the Compass Card system is replaced by the new regional PRONTO fare system in mid-2021.

Two fare adjustment scenarios are under consideration and both scenarios would:

• Reduce one-way cash fares for Youth to align with the discounted Senior/Disabled/Medicare cash fares.
• Increase Adult one-way cash fares on most bus and light rail services from $2.50 to $2.75.
• Include “best-fare” capabilities for 1-day and Monthly passes (except NCTD COASTER) and eliminate the 30-day pass.
• Increase MTS Access and NCTD LIFT fares from $5.00 to $5.50.

Scenario B includes small increases to monthly products. Proposed changes allow MTS and NCTD to offer “best-value” fares. Three public meetings will be held to get public input. If approved by MTS, NCTD, and SANDAG boards, the new fares would be implemented after May 1, 2021.

Public Information & Input Meetings

Due to Covid-19 safety precautions, these meetings will be held “virtually,” with the public able to listen and provide input by computer or telephone. Meetings will be held on the following dates.

• Saturday, January 9, 2021, 10 a.m.
• Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 1 p.m.
• Wednesday, January 13, 2021, 6 p.m.

Recording of the January 9, 2021 meeting: English I Español

Presentation slides: English I Español

How to Comment on the Proposed Fare Changes

To submit your comments in writing:
• Mail to: SANDAG PIO, 401 B Street, Suite 800, San Diego, CA 92101
• Email to:
• Comments on webform:

Comments must be received no later than March 1, 2021. After public input is received and analyzed, a final recommendation will be considered by the MTS, NCTD, and SANDAG Boards of Directors, at which time the public can also make comments.

Language & Disability Assistance

Spanish language interpretation is available. To request interpretation services in other languages, please call (619) 699-1900 at least 72 hours prior to the meeting time.

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), SANDAG will accommodate persons needing assistance to participate. If such assistance is required, please contact SANDAG at (619) 699-1900 at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting. To request the materials in an alternate format and/or additional language(s), please call (619) 699-1900, (619) 699-1904 (TTY), or fax (619) 699-1905.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why is a fare change being considered?

MTS and NCTD depend on fare revenue to maintain its service levels. Operational costs have increased more than 25% over the past 10 years. MTS and NCTD periodically review its fares to ensure that fare revenue keeps pace. Scenario A will increase fare revenue by $3 million per year. Scenario B will increase fare revenue by $4.2 million per year. View the Take One for more details on the different scenarios.

If approved, when will the fares go into effect?

If approved by the respective boards of directors of the agencies, the fares will not go into effect until May 1, 2021 or later.

Why are you lowering the Youth one-way fare?

Currently the Youth fare for a Day Pass and Month Pass are the same as S/D/M fares, but the one-way Youth fare is the same as the Adult one-way fare. The change will align all Youth fares with the S/D/M fares.

What age qualifies for the Youth fares?

Youth fares are available for those ages 6-18, with a valid school or transit ID. Children five years old and under may ride free on all bus, light rail, and commuter services when traveling with a paying passenger.

With ridership so low due to COVID-19, why is this being considered now?

The region is implementing an improved fare system to allow riders to pay-as-they-go rather than pay up-front for Day or Month passes. This new way to pay for fares requires policy changes and board approval. It was decided to include fare change proposals at the same time.

How can I best provide comments to the boards of directors?

Your input is extremely important and we have many ways by which you can provide comments. Please register for one of our three virtual public meetings to learn more about these changes.

You may also submit your comments in writing:

Mail to: SANDAG PIO, 401 B Street, Suite 800, San Diego, CA 92101
Email to:
Comments on webform:

Who can I contact for questions?

Please find Customer Service contact info at

For people with hearing or speech impairments, call 619-234-5005.