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Public Transit

Comprehensive Fare Ordinance

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.

2021 Fare Changes; New Fares changes are effective on May 16th, 2021

Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), and the North County Transit District (NCTD) proposed to amend the Ordinance to adjust the transit fares and collected public comment at three virtual public meetings in January 2021. 

A final recommendation was considered by the MTS and NCTD boards of directors and SANDAG’s Transposition Committee; these recommendations were considered on the following meeting dates: 

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

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

SANDAG’s Transportation Committee Meeting: Friday, April 2, 2021, 9 a.m. 

To implement any fare changes SANDAG is required to amend the Comprehensive Fare Ordinance and TransNet Ordinance.

The Changes will include a new fares system PRONTO and a reduction of youth one-way fares and allow free transfers with a one-way fare for riders using the PRONTO system (except on the COASTER) within a two-hour window of first ride. 

Riders who load money on their PRONTO account will have a one-way fare deducted from their balance each time they board a public transit vehicle. The new best fare capabilities mean that a rider will never be charged more than the price of a Day Pass no matter the number of rides they take per day. The PRONTO system will then keep track of the rider’s trips over the month and ensure that they never spend more than the price of a monthly pass.  Riders will be able to load money on their accounts via online, the PRONTO app, ticket machines, transit stores or customer service centers and at any of the participating retail outlet locations. PRONTO is scheduled to be implemented this summer and will be followed by the phasing-out of the current Compass system. For more information on PRONTO, visit

New Fares adjustment include:

  • New PRONTO fare system 
  • Youth one-way cash fares for youth to align with the discounted Senior/Disabled/Medicare cash fares
  • Free two-hour Transfer window of the first ride
  • “Best Fares” capabilities for 1-day or Monthly passes (except NCTD Coaster)