Get a lift to the polls on Tuesday, November 3!
Our third annual Free Ride Day event is taking place Tuesday, November 3 (AKA Election Day). And while Election Day may look a little different this year, select polling locations and drop-off ballot locations will remain open to voters throughout the day. To help increase access to those in-person voting locations, all MTS and NCTD buses (including LIFT and Access*), Trolleys, SPRINTER and COASTER will be totally free to ride.
**Remember not to purchase or activate mobile passes on Compass Cloud!**
While you can skip the fare on Free Ride Day, face coverings are required! Learn more about our efforts to keep the system safe amidst COVID-19.
Help spread the word and commit to riding on Free Ride Day:
- Take the pledge below or RSVP on the Facebook event today to show that you plan to Choose Transit on November 3!
- Use the hashtag #ride2votesd to let people know transit can help get them access to their polling location. Plus, when you participate on Free Ride Day and post to social media using the hashtag, you have the chance to win one of several gift card giveaways.
Free Ride Day Pop-Ups
To help celebrate the day, MTS will be at different transit centers throughout the region in the morning and afternoon to thank riders for choosing transit. Here, riders can get promo items and enter the Free Ride Day giveaway. In the morning (6:30 to 8:30 a.m.), stop by Old Town, H Street, El Cajon or Euclid Avenue, and in the afternoon (3 to 5 p.m.) you can find us at the Lemon Grove Trolley Station, Palomar Street and Boulevard Transit Plaza in City Heights.
*Reservations for MTS Access and NCTD LIFT must be made in advance.
Tips for Free Ride Day
MTS will be out and about on Free Ride Day to thank riders for choosing transit. There will also be a Free Ride Day giveaway, with the option to win some great gift cards - including grocery gift cards, Best Buy, local restaurants and more! See below for event giveaway details.
How to Enter Free Ride Day Giveaway:
Riders can enter the Free Ride Day Giveaway in two ways.
- In-person: Stop by one of the MTS community pop-up booths on Free Ride Day and join the MTS Rider Insider e-newsletter.
- Online: Share your Free Ride Day experience on social media. (Full entry guidelines below.)
Pop-Up Outreach Locations
MTS staff will be out at seven different transit centers on Election Day. Stop by to pick-up a 'Ride to Vote' hat or an MTS tote bag (while supplies last). Plus, you'll have the chance to join our Rider Insider email list to be entered into the #ridetovotesd prize giveaway!
Morning (6:30 to 8:30 a.m.)
Old Town Transit Center
H Street Transit Center
Euclid Avenue Transit Center
El Cajon Transit Center
Afternoon (3 to 5 p.m.)
Palomar Street Transit Center
Lemon Grove Trolley Station
Boulevard Transit Plaza (City Heights - I-15 and El Cajon Blvd)
#ride2votesd Social Media Giveaway:
For valid submissions to the Free Ride Day Giveaway on social media, participant submissions will need to meet the following guidelines:
- Share a photo on board an MTS or NCTD vehicle, or at an MTS or NCTD station to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
- Tag @sdmts and include the hashtag #ride2votesd.
- The photos must be posted on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, by 11:59 p.m. PST.
- Social media accounts or posts will need to be public in order for MTS to account for the entry.
People may receive a maximum of one (1) entry for Rider Insider sign-up, and a maximum on one (1) entry per accepted social media account (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), for a total of four (4) maximum entries per person.
Winners will be selected at random from all eligible entries.
MTS and Lyft are making it easier to get to the polls on Election Day! On Tuesday, November 3, you can get $1 off your ride to and from an MTS Trolley Station or select Rapid stations. Use the code Ride2Vote2020 to get your discount (all MTS transit trips are free that day!)
- All MTS Trolley stations
- Del Lago Transit Center
- East Palomar Transit Center
- Escondido Transit Center
- Heritage Station
- Lomas Verde Station
- Millenia Station
- Miramar College Transit Center
- Otay Mesa Transit Center
- Otay Ranch Station
- Rancho Bernardo Transit Center
- Sabre Springs Transit Center
- Santa Venetia Station
Do I need a Compass Card or other fare on Free Ride Day?
No fares will be collected on Free Ride Day - just get on board and enjoy the ride.
I am a regular rider and using Compass Cash. Should I still tap on the validator?
No – do not tap on the validator. If you tap the validator a fare will be deducted and we won’t be able to provide you a refund. Keep the Compass Card at home!
Can I ride the North County Transit District’s services, such as the COASTER or SPRINTER?
Yes. NCTD is participating in Free Ride Day as well. Visit its website for more information about NCTD Free Ride Day at gonctd.com.
Do I need a face covering to ride?
Yes, face coverings are mandatory on MTS and NCTD vehicles. A face covering should be worn properly (over your nose and mouth) for your entire trip.
Is transit safe to ride during COVID-19?
Transit has not been proven to be a super spreader of COVID-19. However, rider precautions and health measures are vital to keeping the system safe: always wear a face covering while boarding, leave as much space as possible between you and other riders, avoid unnecessary conversation on board, and practice good hygiene. Most importantly, stay home and do not ride if you feel ill. You can learn more about our cleaning procedures here.
What if I can’t participate on Free Ride Day on Nov. 3, but still want to try transit soon. Can I get a free ride rain check?
No. Unfortunately Free Ride Day is one day only. If you’re looking to give transit a try, a Day Pass can be downloaded using the Compass Cloud app for just $6 (Adults), or $3 (Youth and SDM).
I’ve never ridden transit before. How do I plan my trip?
- Call our professional trip planners! Our trip planners are available Mon-Fri 5:30am-8:30pm and Sat-Sun 7am-7pm at 619.233.3004
- Try the website. The Trip Planner allows you to search by bus route, Trolley line, bus stop number or general location. Watch the website’s trip planning tutorial video for a step-by-step guide. Remember – Park & Ride lots are a great option for commuters using the Trolley, Rapid or Rapid Express routes.
- Download the OneBusAway App – This app allows users to zoom into your current location on a map and shows you the stops around you. It also lists the next arrival times for the next bus or trolley coming your way.
What should I do if I get lost and can’t find my stop?
- MTS Ambassadors and/or Security Officers will be at most Trolley stations and can help answer any questions.
- MTS Bus Operators are also helpful for travel information. (Only talk with the operator when the bus is not moving).
- Other options include:
- Ride Assured Security Hotline: 619.595.4960
- MTS Information & Trip Planning: Our trip planners are available Mon-Fri 5:30am-8:30pm and Sat-Sun 7am-7pm at 619.233.3004
Will MTS be operating on a normal weekday schedule?
Yes – all buses and Trolleys will operating on a normal weekday schedule.
Are MTS Access appointments free on Free Ride Day?
Yes, MTS Access is included in this year's Free Ride Day on Election Day. Appointments for MTS Access must be made in advance.