2021 Fare Changes

The Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), North County Transit District (NCTD), and the San Diego Association of Governments (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. Three fare adjustment scenarios are under consideration and detailed in the table inside this Notice 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 (see “How will PRONTO work” below).
  • Increase MTS Access and NCTD LIFT fares from $5.00 to $5.50.

Scenario B also includes increases to monthly products: An adult month pass would increase from $72 to $75 and SDM and Youth month passes from $23 to $24..

Scenarios A and B increase fare revenues to balance the fare revenue loss expected by implementing “best fare” functionality.

A third option, Scenario C, was presented to the boards of directors after the public expressed support for PRONTO “best fare” functionality but with a preference for no fare increases. Scenario C would change fare policy to allow “best fares” and reduce one-way cash fares for Youth with no other changes. This Scenario causes a $3.5 million reduction in fare revenue. Other means to fill this funding gap would have to be found and could include reductions in service.

Three public meetings were held to get public input. If approved by MTS, NCTD, and SANDAG boards, the new fares would be implemented after May 1, 2021.


Due to Covid-19 safety precautions, these meetings will be held virtually, with the public able to listen and provide input by computer or telephone. See below for information on how to participate. 
• Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 1 p.m. | Register Here
• Wednesday, January 13, 2021, 6 p.m. | Register Here

Listen to the/view a recoridng of the first meeting: English I Español

View the presentation slides: English I Español

Public comments are also being accepted through the webform on this page through March 1 (see below). 

View The Take One


How will PRONTO work?

This new 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. It happens instantly!