Sep 15, 2023 - News

MTS riders can soon pay fares with just a credit card

A Metropolitan Transit System bus-stop at City College Trolley Station. Photo: Dünzlullstein bild via Getty Images

Starting in April 2024, Metropolitan Transit System riders won't need to sign up for or figure out the PRONTO fare system to ride Trolleys and buses — their credit card will be enough.

Driving the news: The MTS board voted Thursday to upgrade its payment system to include "open payment," meaning riders don't need to load funds onto a card or app to pay their fare.

  • The upgrade is a $1.2 million expenditure.

Why it matters: MTS has lost money because of its fare system, which has been criticized for being so hard to use that riders increasingly ducked fares in frustration.

What they're saying: Connor Proctor, vice president of the transit advocacy group RideSD, said Thursday that signing up for and paying through PRONTO took 191 clicks.

  • "This makes it so you pay for transit the same way you pay for everything else," said Will Moore, policy counsel with Circulate San Diego, another transit advocacy group.

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