Day Passes Now on Compass Card!

Day Passes are now sold on Compass Card at all Trolley ticket machines and the Transit Store at 102 Broadway in Downtown San Diego. Once you have a Compass Card, you can reload a 1-Day Pass on most MTS Buses.

Watch the demo below to see how easy it is to purchase and reload your Compass Card!

For the first-time purchase of a Day Pass, you must pay an additional $2 fee for your Compass Card, which is added to the price of your Day Pass.

Once you have a Compass Card, keep it and reload it with a Day Pass the next time you ride. Your Compass Card can also be used to purchase and load other adult fare products without any additional charge.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why has MTS converted all Day Pass sales to Compass Cards?

Unlike paper passes, Compass Cards cannot be duplicated, which helps prevent fraud and fare evasion, keeping fares low for everyone. Compass Cards provide MTS with important ridership data that helps us better plan services. Compass Cards also provide you with the flexibility to reload different products as necessary, register cards to protect value, and reload many products on line or by phone. Keep your Compass Card. Reload it!

Why do I have to pay an extra $2 fee when I buy a paper Day Pass on a bus?

Buses do not have the equipment to issue Compass Cards. If you board a bus without a Compass Card, a total of $7 will be charged for a Day Pass and the paper ticket. There is no extra $2 fee if you purchase a Day Pass on a bus with a Compass Card.

I want a Compass Card to avoid paying the $2 fee on buses in the future. Where can I get one?

If you bought a $7 paper Day Pass on a bus, you can trade your paper Day Pass for a Compass Card loaded with a Day Pass at The Transit Store. The paper Day Pass must be valid for the day on which you're making the trade. The Transit Store is open Monday–Friday, 9 am–5 pm, at 102 Broadway in Downtown San Diego.

You can also purchase an empty Compass Card for $2 at any Albertsons store or at the MTS Transit Store. Once you have the Compass Card, it can be loaded with a Day Pass on bus fare boxes for just $5.


Can I load a day pass on a Senior/Disabled/Medicare Compass Card?

Yes, day passes can be loaded on Senior/Disabled/Medicare Compass Cards.

How long should I keep my Compass Card?

Compass Cards last about five years, so keep your card and reload it! You can look up your Compass Card's expiration date online.

Important Information for Compass Card Customers


Once you load your pass on your Card, you must still validate your Compass Card before boarding the Trolley. To validate simply tap the Card on “target” located either on the ticket vending machine or on the free-standing pedestal on the platform. These pedestals are typically located near the ends of the Trolley platform at each station.

Reloading other passes on your Compass Card

Compass Cards distributed during the Day Pass promotional period can be reloaded with any Adult pass. Discounted Senior/Disabled/Medicare and Youth passes may only be loaded on Senior/Disabled/Medicare or Youth Compass Cards, which are available at The Transit Store or Albertsons. A proper ID is required.

Compass Card sales at Albertsons

Adult Compass Cards are available for $2 at any Albertsons store in San Diego County. Riders may also purchase a 14-Day, 30-Day, or Regional Monthly Pass on their Compass Cards at Albertsons.

Other places to buy an Adult Compass Card

A Compass Card can be purchased for $2, along with any Adult pass product, at any Trolley ticket vending machine, The Transit Store in downtown San Diego, online at or by calling 511 and saying "Compass."

Senior, Disabled, Medicare, and Youth Compass Cards

Senior/Disabled/Medicare or Youth Compass Cards may only be purchased in person at The Transit Store, any Albertsons grocery store, or select community outlets by showing valid I.D. There is a $2 fee for the Compass Card.

Senior/Disabled/Medicare Compass I.D. Card applications forms are available at The Transit Store and online.


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