Special Circulator-Support Our Efforts to Improve the Compass Card

Circulate San Diego is committed to making public transit safer and more accessible for all.

Every day our staff puts a tremendous amount of effort into this, and yes, we need your financial support. Please give if you can.

We also rely on your help as civically involved residents.

  • On February 29thKPBS published a story revealing that transit riders were at risk of credit card fraud.
  • Two days later, Circulate San Diego launched an online tool for San Diegans lend their voice to improving the Compass Card. (You can still use it!)
  • Your emails brought two MTS board members together to host a press conference and release a letter calling on MTS for action.
  • This weekend, the Union Tribute editorial page endorsed Circulate San Diego’s call to improve the Compass Card.
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Press Release: Loss of Life on San Diego Streets Continues


Contact: Kathleen Ferrier
619-544-9255, x. 301 (office)
619-571-5231 (cell)

Loss of Life on San Diego Streets Continues 

SAN DIEGO (March 17, 2016) ---  

Two pedestrians were hit while crossing the street over the weekend in separate incidents, with one resulting in death, and the second with life threatening head injuries. The first occurred at 6:30 pm on Fairmount Avenue, a wide four-lane road with high speeds and few crossings. The second pedestrian was a 50-year old man crossing Garnet Avenue, also a wide street, at 10:15 pm in Pacific Beach.

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Policy Letter: SUPPORT for Updates to CEQA Guidelines on Evaluating Transportation Impacts

Circulate San Diego joined with a number of public health, environmental, housing, and transportation advocacy organizations from around California to sign onto a letter to support recommendations for the Updates to the CEQA Guidelines on Evaluating Transportation Impacts, which seeks to implement SB 743 successfully.  

Read the entire letter [PDF]

Letter: Support Downtown Mobility, Protected Bike Lanes

Today, Circulate San Diego sent the below letter to Civic San Diego to support the proposed Downtown Mobility Plan which will bring the first protected bike lanes to downtown and provide a network of greenways and bikeways to complement the existing transit services.

A PDF version of the letter is available here.

MTS Customer Service Update

Last week I wrote in the Voice of San Diego about some ways MTS could improve transit by focusing on customer service. This week I had an opportunity to experience another service outage, but it was handled much differently (and better) than previous outages.

On the way into downtown on the Orange Line, it was announced over the train’s speaker system that a south bound Blue Line trolley hand broken down on the tracks somewhere between America Plaza and the City College station. Consequently, they said, the Orange line would proceed as it normally does to Santa Fe Depot, but would be rerouted to the 12th & Imperial station via the Green Line tracks for the first part of its east bound trip, thus not providing service to its typical downtown stops.

The trolley operator took the time to explain what was happening, why, and what the impact would be on riders. This is exactly the kind of communication and information that passengers appreciate. Kudos to the MTS operations team for handling this outage and clearly communicating about it to riders. I’m sure I am not the only one who was made to feel like a valued customer that morning.

Circulator- March 11th


Circulate San Diego has just released our new report on implementing SB 743. Read the entire report here

In 2013, California adopted SB 743, a landmark transportation impact law that holds the promise to rethink how transportation and communities are shaped. The Complete Streets Task Force, composed of Circulate San Diego, American Planning Association (APA)-San Diego Chapter, Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE)-San Diego Section, and others, offer this new report [PDF] for consideration.


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#PlanDiego Launch Party


Last night Circulate San Diego launched its #PlanDiego initiative with a rooftop party. #PlanDiego is a region-wide initiative to make planning and land use smarter, more inclusive, and fun!, During the launch party Circulate San Diego released its brand new report Smart Mobility for Smart Growth which focuses on the implementation of SB 743.

The launch was a success and attendees were treated to food, beverage, #PlanDiego land-use conversations, and of course a terrific view of downtown.

Circulate San Diego will be releasing a series of position papers, hosting panel discussions, and organizing community events to elevate the discussion of planning and land use throughout the San Diego region.

Visit the #PlanDiego page to learn more and stay tuned for future reports

Report: Smart Mobility for Smart Growth

COVER11.jpgIn 2013, California adopted SB 743, a landmark transportation impact law that holds the promise to rethink how transportation and communities are shaped.

Prior to SB 743, transportation analyses for development projects under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) relied on a metric called “Level of Service” (LOS), which measures the duration of expected vehicle delay. To minimize LOS impacts, projects were incentivized to build more car-related infrastructure, which in turn encourages more driving and higher greenhouse gas emissions.

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Media Advisory: David Alvarez and Lorie Zapf join Circulate San Diego to ask for MTS to Fix its Compass Card


Contact: Colin Parent
Cell: (858) 442-7374, 

MEDIA ADVISORY: David Alvarez and Lorie Zapf join Circulate San Diego to ask for MTS to Fix its Compass Card

MTS Board Members David Alvarez and Lorie Zapf will join transit advocacy organization Circulate San Diego for a press conference to call on MTS to fix the compass card, to protect customer data, and to make the system easier and safer for customers to access. Alvarez and Zapf also released this letter to MTS detailing safety concerns and customer access issues. 

KPBS recently reported that the MTS Compass Card, the fare-card for the region’s transit system, is not PCI compliant, leaving customers vulnerable to credit card fraud.

The Compass Card system is also very unusual for a large metropolitan transit agency, because it does not allow customers to use “stored value,” a functionality to load funds on a card, to be drawn down whenever needed.

WHEN:                1 PM, Tuesday, March 8, 2016

WHERE:              At the corner of 2nd Ave and C Street, next to the City Hall Transit Station.

WHAT:                MTS Board members calling on MTS to fix the Compass Card

WHO:                  Circulate San Diego, MTS Board Members David Alvarez and Lorie Zapf

Circulate San Diego is a regional non-profit organization dedicated to advancing mobility and making the region a better place to move, work, learn, and play. Our work focuses on creating great mobility choices, more walkable and bikeable neighborhoods, and land uses that promote sustainable growth.

Climate Benefits for California and Affordable Housing

The Climate Benefits for California Map is a searchable online mapping tool that portrays how California's climate program is improving people's lives. The mapping tool was developed by TransForm to present the benefits of investing in innovative, integrated solutions to climate change. Climate Benefits for California has begun sharing stories from people who are touched by sustainable investments.

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