Riding public transportation in San Diego may get more expensive for riders who forget their reusable bus passes or don't have a reusable bus card.
San Diego's Metropolitan Transit System announced that beginning Monday, riders who wish to buy a day pass will have to also pay for a $2 reusable Compass Card.
This means riders who don't have a Compass Card on them will have to pay $7 for a day pass on the bus. The bus will issue a paper card, but it must be traded in for a plastic Compass Card the same day at the MTS store Downtown.
The cards can be reloaded on the bus. Riders don't have to buy the $2 Compass Cards every time they ride the bus, as long as their Compass Card is loaded with enough money.
Currently, the paper passes can be purchased on the bus for $5. That policy changes Monday. Riders can also buy the Compass Passes at Albertsons or at the MTS store.
MTS made the policy change to prevent riders from using fraudulent paper bus passes. Spokesperson Rob Schupp said hundreds of these fraudulent passes were being sold below the border.
Over the past several months, MTS has been working to get the word out about the new policy, handing out free Compass Cards at locations around San Diego.
Schupp admitted that the new system might be confusing but said it was the best way to make sure the transit system's own resources aren't depleted.
"I'm confident that people will get used to it really quick," he said, adding that about 80 percent of people already use Compass Cards to ride the bus.
Monthly passes issued to San Diego's homeless community work differently than Compass Cards, but will still be honored under the new system.
To help riders transition to the new system, starting Monday, MTS will be exchanging riders' paper passes for the Compass Passes at the following locations between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.:
• Old Town (west side bus bays)
• 12th & Imperial
• Euclid Avenue
• El Cajon
• City College
• Iris Avenue
• Fashion Valley
The exchange will last until November 24, but excludes Thanksgiving.
For more information on transportation in San Diego, visit MTS's website.