San Diego MTS Launches New Fare Collection System, Offers Free Rides on App

To help San Diegans transition to the city’s new public transportation fare collection system, the Metropolitan Transit System is offering free rides for a month starting Sept. 1

An image of a PRONTO public transit card.

Starting Wednesday, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) and North County Transit District (NCTD) riders can use the new regional fare system, PRONTO.

To help San Diegans transition to the PRONTO fare collection system, MTS is offering free rides this month on its new PRONTO app. Anyone with a PRONTO Card is also eligible for free rides on MTS throughout the month of September.

MTS' new PRONTO system will replace its existing Compass Card and Cloud system. That means from September 2021 and onward, passengers will be required to make the switch from the Cloud system and Compass Cards to PRONTO.

"It will be a big effort to transition hundreds of thousands of people to PRONTO. But offering riders with a free PRONTO card and free rides during the launch is a great incentive," Sharon Cooney, MTS Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement.

Right now, MTS and North County Transit District riders can pick up a PRONTO card from the MTS Transit Store from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. Outreach events will also be held in various parts of the city to raise awareness of the change and PRONTO cards will be given out then. Click here to see where and when the nearest event to you is.

The Metropolitan Transit System has launched a free Wi-Fi program on 10 buses to test internet access for its riders.

Riders can also sign up online to get a PRONTO card. Those who qualify for reduced fare can contact PRONTO Support at (619) 595-5636 for information on how to get a card or can speak to PRONTO and MTS representatives at the Transit Store and outreach events.

Starting Wednesday, passengers can get PRONTO cards at ticket machines and participating retail stores.

For more information on the new fare collection system, click here.

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