A Coaster train heading north on the Del Mar bluffs. Photo by Chris Jennewein

A new fare structure that includes the first increases in a decade will take effect Sunday for the San Diego region’s buses, trolleys and trains.

The changes effect both the Metropolitan Transit System and the North County Transit District.

‘The fare changes are designed to increase fare revenue and close a structural budget deficit,” the two agencies said in a joint statement.” These are the first increases in fares in 10 years, a period in which operating costs have climbed by more than 25%.”

In addition to raising revenue, the new fare structure is designed to be easier to understand and use. The most significant changes include:

  • Addition of a $3 day pass for seniors, disabled and youth on MTS buses and trolleys and the NCTD’s buses and Sprinter trains
  • An increase in the adult day pass from $5 to $6 on MTS buses and trolleys and the NCTD’s buses and Sprinter trains
  • The Sprinter/Breeze monthly pass has been combined with the regional monthly pass and will now cost $72 and include service on the MTS buses and trolleys
  • The monthly price for a youth pass has been reduced from $36 to $23 for MTS buses and trolleys and the NCTD’s buses and Sprinter trains
  • The monthly price for a senior pass increases from $18 to $23 on MTS buses and trolleys and the NCTD’s buses and Sprinter trains
  • The minimum age for senior discounts rises from 60 to 65, thourgh people born on or before Sept. 1, 1959, will remain eligible for reduced fares
  • A new single, one-way fare of $2.50 applies to both MTS buses and trolleys and the NCTD’s buses and  Sprinter trains. The old MTS fare was $2.25.
  • An increase in fares for Coaster commuter trains, with a trip across three zones now costing $6.50
  • Elimination of 2, 3, 4 and 14-day passes
  • Elimination of free trolley transfers to align with MTS bus fare policy
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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.