San Diego – At its meeting today, the MTS Board of Directors approved a series of measures that will aim to improve operations, accessibility and security across the MTS transit system. These measures include the implementation of a credit card tap to pay feature, which will allow riders to simply tap their physical credit cards or smart devices enabled credit cards on PRONTO validators on MTS or NTCD transit stations and bolstering the agency’s security personnel by adding 34 more Code Compliance Inspector (CCIs) positions to help patrol its expansive transit system. This approved increase will boost the total number of CCIs patrolling the system from 56 to 90 – a 60% increase. The agency also has 200 private security officers deployed through its contracted private security firm, Inter-Con.
“The security and comfort of our riders, and employees is MTS’ main priority, said Stephen Whitburn, MTS Board Chair and San Diego City Councilmember, District 3. “A stronger presence of security on the system and a more efficient payment system for riders on the go is something we’ve heard from the community, and today’s action put words into action.” “I want to thank the MTS stakeholders and riders who have provided feedback on these initiatives and I think it will go a long way toward bringing even more riders back to the system.”
The option to pay for transit fare directly with a physical card or smart device enabled credit cards was considered after numerous workshops with key stakeholders from MTS, North County Transit District (NCTD), California Integrated Travel Project, fare system vendor INIT, credit card gateway provider NMI and payment processor Chase, to discuss the most viable way to introduce open payment methods for riders.
The decision to increase the number of CCIs and other members of the security team was made after extensive community engagement with internal and external focus groups, a customer satisfaction survey to measure rider and employee sentiment towards security presence on the MTS system. Additionally, MTS staff met with numerous committees, such as the Security and Passenger Safety Community Advisory Group (CAG), the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) and Public Security Committee to identify areas of improvement for the agency’s security protocols and personnel training.
The hiring of additional security personnel will allow for increased coverage for the Trolley Train Teams and Bus Enforcement Team, and the ability to have daily coverage on the Passenger Safety Team and the Homeless Outreach Team. The total annual cost for this increase in security staffing is approximately $4.2 million.
The Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) operates more than 100 bus routes and three Trolley lines in 10 cities and unincorporated areas of San Diego County. MTS is a leader in advancing initiatives to create a greener, cleaner and better-connected transit system in San Diego. Each weekday more than 220,000 passenger trips are taken throughout the MTS system taking people to work, school, health appointments and other essential trips. In FY 2022, MTS made more than 57 million transit trips. For service schedule updates, news, alerts and more information on how you can use public transportation, go to www.sdmts.com.