After seeing ridership decline by more than half, the North County Transit District announced Wednesday that it will temporarily do away with a much-maligned $1 fee to ride shuttles that connect the Sorrento Valley Coaster train platform to surrounding businesses.
Matthew Tucker, the district's executive director, said Thursday that adding the fee last year cut ridership on the Sorrento Valley Coaster Connection shuttle by 40 to 50 percent and has generally hurt the Coaster's declining ridership numbers.
"It was just like a toll that someone puts in your driveway," Tucker said. "You make that last turn after traveling 15 miles to get home at the end of your workday, and here's a toll booth to get in your own front door."
To start, the district will pay San Diego's Metropolitan Transportation Services about $5,000 per month to subsidize the cost of the connection shuttle for three months from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31.