SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Starting Wednesday, transit riders who get a new PRONTO card or download the PRONTO app can ride on the Metropolitan Transit System and North County Transit District for free during the month of September.
The PRONTO system will replace the previous Compass cards and app.
Free rides will be available on MTS Trolley and buses and NCTD's Breeze and Sprinter -- but no free rides are available on the Coaster.
Passengers will not need to pay but should tap a PRONTO card or scan the QR code on the app on the PRONTO validators located at rail stations and on buses.
The entire PRONTO system will begin requiring fares on Oct. 1. Coaster riders wanting to purchase fares for September should use the PRONTO mobile app.
"PRONTO is a great example of how MTS is committed to investing in convenience, accessibility, and value for our passengers," said Nathan Fletcher, MTS board chair and chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.
Free cards will also be available at participating Vons and Albertsons stores and more than 50 other retail outlets. Some outlets may require a minimum $5 load onto the card that can be used for fares in October.
Beginning in October, outlets will also load the cards with value. The Ride PRONTO website will allow people to register cards and purchase fares, review order history, add payment methods, set up a customized dashboard, and more.
The new program includes a "best fare" system that is intended to automatically calculate the best possible fare for riders -- potentially saving them money over the course of a day or month.
The app will also allow riders to add value to their accounts instantly and to track their rides and progress toward earning a day pass and month pass.
With the system, fares are capped at $6 per day or $72 per month for adult passes -- $3/day and $23/month for seniors, those with disabilities and youths.