MTS Board Approves Recommended Fare Changes
By Mario A. Cortez
Late last year, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) Board recommended changes to rider fares for the first time since 2009. A vote by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) on this change is expected to come soon.
As announced by MTS this past December, the recommendations call for a reduction in youth monthly pass prices from their current price of $36 down to $23, and a new $3 day pass for youth and senior, disabled individuals, or riders in the Medicare program. A simplification of the fare structure to enable a new account-based fare collection system is also recommended.
A $5 increase to monthly passes for senior, disabled individuals, or riders in the Medicare program, brought down from its original $8 pricing after public input, was also included among the early proposed changes.
“Change is hard, but today’s MTS decision on fare changes and a new fare-collection system is needed. Fares haven’t changed since 2009 and the system hasn’t kept up with how San Diegans want to use transit,” said MTS Chair Georgette Gómez in a press release. “We need to make it easier to use transit as a real mobility alternative. Fortunately, youth passes will be more affordable, there will be a new discounted day pass for youth and Senior/Disabled/Medicare riders, and the new fare-collection system will modernize San Diego bringing us closer to the experience of transit-forward cities.”
In addition to these changes, the MTS Board approved a new contract with German transportation ticketing company INIT which will help implement the new payment system which will allow for individual account management and easier payment options for riders without a day pass or a monthly pass.
For the changes to be implemented, SANDAG’s 21-member Board of Directors must approve these. A date for the vote has not been announced.