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Public Transit

Comprehensive Fare Ordinance

Learn More About the 2021 Fare Change Proposal and View the Proposed Fare Changes  

The SANDAG Board of Directors approved the region’s first Comprehensive Fare Ordinance encompassing fares charged on all public transit vehicles in San Diego County operated by Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) and the North County Transit District (NCTD) on March 24, 2006.

The Comprehensive Fare Ordinance consolidates the existing fare levels and regulations of MTS and NCTD into a single SANDAG ordinance.

The Fare Ordinance is consistent with SANDAG Board Policy No. 029, Regional Fare Policy, which provides the regional framework for transit fares. All fare changes, including fare increases or changes in fare types, must be approved by the SANDAG Board of Directors or the Transportation Committee. Public hearings will be held whenever fare changes are being considered.

Proposed 2021 Fare Changes

MTS, NCTD, and SANDAG are proposing amendments to transit fares in 2021. If approved, these changes would take effect when the Compass Card system is replaced by the new regional PRONTO fare system in mid-2021.

Two fare adjustment scenarios are under consideration and detailed in the table below. One scenario would include small increases to monthly products. Proposed changes allow MTS and NCTD to offer “best-value” fares.  

Both scenarios would:  

- Reduce one-way cash fares for Youth to align with the discounted Senior/Disabled/Medicare cash fares

- Increase Adult one-way cash fares on most bus and light rail services from $2.50 to $2.75 

- Include “best-fare” capabilities for 1-day and Monthly passes (except NCTD COASTER) and eliminate the 30-day pass

- Increase MTS Access and NCTD LIFT fares from $5.00 to $5.50

This new PRONTO fare system will automatically give riders the best-possible fare. Riders who load money into their PRONTO account will have a one-way fare deducted from their balance each time they board a public transit vehicle (COASTER requires the pre-purchase of Day and Month Passes).

A rider will never be charged more than the value of a Day Pass or Monthly Pass once they have deducted the value of those passes over the course of a day or month.

Riders may still purchase a calendar month pass in advance if they choose.

Riders will be able to load money in their account online, in the new PRONTO mobile app, on ticket machines at stations, at the Transit Store or Customer Service Centers, and at participating retail outlets.

Learn more at

Public Meetings 

Three virtual public meetings were held in January 2021 to get public input on the 2021 proposed fare changes. If approved by MTS and NCTD Boards, and the SANDAG Transportation Committee, the new fares would be implemented after May 1, 2021. 

Learn More About the 2021 Fare Change Proposal and View the Proposed Fare Changes  

Members of the public also may submit comments via phone at (619) 595-5321, email at, or by using the online comment form.

To submit comments via mail, send them to: 

401 B Street, Suite 800 
San Diego, CA 92101 

Comments are due by March 1, 2021.

After public input is received and analyzed, a final recommendation will be considered by the SANDAG Transportation Committee and MTS and NCTD Boards of Directors at the following meetings: 

MTS Board Info/Public Input Item
Thursday, January 21, 2021, 9 a.m. 

NCTD Board Info/Public Input Item
Thursday, January 21, 2021, 2 p.m. 

SANDAG Transportation Committee Info/Public Input Item​
Friday, February 5, 2021, 9 a.m.   

MTS Board Meeting
Thursday, February 18, 2021, 9 a.m. 

NCTD Board Meeting
Thursday, February 18, 2021, 2 p.m. 

SANDAG Transportation Committee Meeting 1st Reading
Friday, March 19, 2021, 9 a.m. 

SANDAG Transportation Committee Meeting 2nd Reading and Approval
Friday, April 2, 2021, 9 a.m.