Youth Opportunity Pass

Youth Opportunity Pass Youth Opportunity Pass

Youth Ride Free with PRONTO

Starting May 1, 2022, all riders 18 and under will be able to ride North County Transit District (NCTD)* and MTS services for FREE with a Youth PRONTO app account, or a Youth PRONTO card. The Youth Opportunity Pass is a pilot program, sponsored by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and County of San Diego, through June 30, 2023.

To be eligible for the Youth Opportunity Pass, riders 18 and under must have a Youth PRONTO app account, or a Youth PRONTO card, and travel with proof of eligibility. (Riders 5 and under ride NCTD and MTS free at all times, and don’t need a card or proof of eligibility.)

You can request to change to a reduced fare card online using the MTS form below.

Request to Change to a Reduced Fare Card

*Youth Opportunity Pass excludes Rail-to-Rail service

Read below for additional information and questions.


Getting Started

New or Existing Riders

Existing Youth Riders:

Youth who already have an existing PRONTO app account or card do not need to take any additional steps to receive free transit. Starting May 1, when you tap or scan your Youth PRONTO card or app, your ride will automatically be registered as a free ride under the Youth Opportunity Pass program. Make sure you tap or scan your PRONTO card or app on a validator every trip you take!

New Youth Riders:

Youth who do not have an existing Youth account with PRONTO can participate in the Youth Opportunity Pass program in a few simple steps:

App:

  1. Download the PRONTO app on your Apple or Android device.
  2. Create a virtual card.
  3. Convert your card to a Youth account online, over the phone (619-595-5636) or in -person (at any NCTD Customer Service Centers, or MTS Transit Store). (Accounts converted online will be processed the next business day.)

Card:

Get a free Youth PRONTO card at an outreach event, or at any NCTD Customer Service Center or MTS Transit Store. There are no fees for these Youth cards April 1 through May 31, 2022. (Limit one per youth and/or guardian with valid youth ID.)

Riders who pick-up a pre-designated Youth card are encouraged to register the account to their name online at RidePRONTO.com, over the phone with the PRONTO Support Team (619-595-5636), or in-person at any NCTD Customer Service Center, or the MTS Transit Store.

Alternatively,

  1. Get a PRONTO card at any SPRINTER or COASTER ticket machine or retail outlet (one-time $2 fee, plus a minimum load of $3 at ticket machines, and $5 at retail outlets)
  2. Convert your card to a Youth account online, over the phone (619-595-5636) or in -person (NCTD Customer Service Centers, MTS Transit Store)

Now that you have your account set-up, read on for more information on using PRONTO, tips for riding and more FAQs about the program.

 

Outreach

Events

 

Wednesday, April 6

2-6pm

Escondido Transit Center

700 W Valley Pkwy

Monday, April 11

2-6pm

Vista Transit Center

240 N Santa Fe Ave

Thursday, April 14

2-6pm

Oceanside Transit Center

205 S Tremont St

Thursday, April 14

5-9pm

Oceanside Sunset Market

Pier View Way

Youth Opportunity Pass Program FAQs

What services is the Youth Opportunity Pass good for?

The Youth Opportunity Pass program covers free transit rides on all fixed-route North County Transit District’s BREEZE, SPRINTER, COASTER, FLEX, and MTS buses and Trolleys.

The Youth Opportunity Pass is not valid on NCTD LIFT or MTS Access paratransit services.

There are multiple youth in my family, can we all use the same app or card?

No, each rider must have his/her own PRONTO app account or card. Multiple riders cannot use the same PRONTO app or card.

Can I just show my school ID to ride for free?

No, your school ID is only used to verify your eligibility as a Youth rider, you must have a Youth account on the PRONTO app, or a Youth PRONTO card to access free rides. If you do not have a Youth PRONTO app account or card, you may be required to pay the standard one-way youth fare ($1.25 each trip).

What can I use to show proof of eligibility as a Youth rider?

Accepted forms of eligibility include: current school picture ID; OR a valid government-issued photo ID with birthdate (i.e. driver’s license or real ID); OR birth certificate.

For the duration of the YOP pilot program (May 1,2022 through June 30, 2023), NCTD Code Compliance Inspectors will also accept photos or digital copies of current, valid photo ID forms for youth while traveling on board (i.e. current school picture, driver’s license, real ID, passport, etc.) (Riders verifying eligibility in-person should bring original / hard copies.)

Alternatively, you can get a Youth photo ID PRONTO card at all NCTD Customer Service Centers and the MTS Transit Store ($7 fee).

What happens when the pilot program ends?

If the pilot program is not extended beyond June 30, 2023, normal Youth fares will be reinstated. All Youth who wish to continue to receive discounted transit rates will need to extend their eligibility (based on birthdate) at any NCTD Customer Service Center or the MTS Transit Store prior to June 30, 2023 (or your PRONTO account will automatically revert to the Adult fare category).

Can I use service to get to school?

NCTD runs supplemental BREEZE bus service during the school year. Supplemental school services are open to the public and provide bus service to middle and high schools within NCTD’s service area. The schedule for the supplemental service aligns with school bell times, which may be subject to change. For more information, visit our Supplemental School Service page.

Getting and Using PRONTO

I have a PRONTO app/card, what now?

Once you have your PRONTO app or card set to a Youth category (see ‘Getting Started with YOP’), have your card or app ready when you get to the rail station or bus stop. Find a validator (located on SPRINTER and COASTER platforms and at the front of buses), then tap your PRONTO card, or scan the QR code on the app ‘Use’ tab. You should receive a green check mark and a free fare message. Don’t forget to tap your card or scan your app every trip you make!

Do I need to register to be eligible?

While registering your PRONTO card is not required to participate in YOP, it is highly encouraged should you lose your card. (Riders who use the app will automatically have their virtual card registered to their name/email on the account.) Riders can register their card online at RidePRONTO.com, over the phone (619-595-5636 or in-person at NCTD Customer Service Centers or MTS Transit Store).

Additionally, all youth who wish to retain their Youth eligible status beyond June 30, 2023 should verify their eligibility at NCTD Customer Service Centers or the MTS Transit Store one time prior to June 30, 2023 (an online option will also be available). Once verified, youth will have their eligibility extended until their 19th birthday.

Do I need to have money on my card or app account?

No, starting May 1, 2022, youth don’t need to load any money to their PRONTO app or card. Any cash on a Youth PRONTO app or card will stay on the account and won’t be deducted.

NCTD and MTS will not issue refunds for stored value on Youth cards or app accounts. Balances can be transferred to a non-Youth PRONTO product, or will remain on the Youth card/app for future use (stored value on PRONTO never expires).

What happens if I don't have a Youth PRONTO card or app account?

Riders without a Youth account on PRONTO will be required to pay the one-way cash fare. One-way Youth cash fares for most NCTD services are $1.25, and do not include any transfers to other bus or rail lines. See our full fare information here.

 

What happens if I lose or break my phone?

Riders with a PRONTO app account whose phone breaks, or is lost or stolen, can simply login to their PRONTO account on their new device, and select the option to ‘Transfer Existing Card.’ When you do this, your account/card will be blocked on your original device, and transferred to the new phone.

Important Note: You *should not* use the option to transfer existing card if you lost access to your device temporarily (i.e. phone dies). You cannot transfer your card to another device, and then back to your original device.

What happens if I lose my PRONTO card?

Riders can replace a registered card that has been lost or stolen online at RidePRONTO.com, over the phone with PRONTO Support (619-595-5636) or at any NCTD Customer Service Center or the MTS Transit Store (non-registered cards cannot be replaced).

How to Ride

Are face masks required on public transit?

No, the federal mask mandate on public transportation was dropped on April 18, 2022.

How do I know which routes to take?

Riders can use the online Trip Planner tool to find (also available within the PRONTO app) to find which route(s) best serve their destination. To use the online trip planner, enter your starting and ending destinations, then select the time you want to leave (‘Depart At’) or ‘Arrive By’ to see which route(s) and travel times are available.

Additionally, you can call the NCTD Customer Service Center at (760-750-6500) to speak with a representative about your trip options and questions. The Customer Service Office is open Monday-Friday, 7:00a.m. – 7:00 p.m., and available for calls from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

 

Where can I see when my bus or train will arrive?

Real-time arrival information is available in the PRONTO app (see ‘Departures’), or online at GoNCTD.com. Real-time information allows you to see if your bus or train is running ahead of or behind schedule, and to track vehicle progress. The system updates every 30 seconds (approximately), so be sure to check back closer to the scheduled time to see if there are updates to the estimated travel time. Additionally, riders can save their favorite routes and/or stops for easy reference on future trips.

Who do I contact if I have a safety concern on board?

Your safety and security are our top priorities. If you see or hear suspicious behavior on the transit system — we ask that you report the activity to transit staff. If you do not see a uniformed representative – please call (760) 966-6700 and report your observations.  If you observe violent behavior or other criminal or threatening acts that could endanger life and property – please dial 911 immediately!

Need More Help?

If you need more help with PRONTO, call the PRONTO Support Team at 619-595-5636. You can also visit an NCTD Customer Service Center.

For more information about how PRONTO works on NCTD BREEZE, SPRINTER, COASTER and FLEX, visit visit RidePRONTO.com. Additional information on the SANDAG Youth Opportunity Pass program can be find here YouthOpportunityPass.sandag.org.