MTS Board Approves Recommended Fare Changes

Created: 09 January, 2019
Last update: 27 July, 2022

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.