Circulate San Diego logo


Contact: Colin Parent
Cell: (858) 442-7374
[email protected]

MTS implements stored value after campaign by Circulate San Diego

The new MTS “Compass Cash” system will allow riders to store value on their Compass Cards 

Recently, the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) improved its Compass Card fare payment system by adding a stored value function, after a years-long campaign by Circulate San Diego.

The new stored value system called “Compass Cash” will allow customers to load their transit pass with funds, and then draw down those funds whenever needed.

Stored value will encourage more riders to access the system, alleviate traffic, reduce greenhouse gasses, and bring more revenue to support our busses and trolleys.

This improvement by MTS comes more than a year after Circulate San Diego launched our campaign to “Fix the Compass Card.” In 2016, hundreds of San Diego transit riders responded to Circulate’s call and used our online tool to email MTS, asking them to update the fare payment system.

Circulate San Diego’s campaign organized a press conference with supportive MTS board members Lorie Zapf and David Alvarez, generated dozens of regular news reports, and even inspired the Union-Tribune to write an editorial to support our efforts. Circulate also produced research showing that MTS had been the largest transit agency in the nation that had a smart card without the basic function of stored value.

“Sometimes change takes a long time, but it’s important to celebrate wins, and to recognize when public agencies respond correctly to the public,” said Colin Parent, policy counsel with Circulate San Diego. “With stored value, MTS is doing the right thing for transit riders in San Diego.”

Circulate San Diego’s is re-launching its online tool to email the MTS CEO and board members, this time for riders to thank MTS for making these important improvements to the Compass Card: Thank MTS Board Members for Stored Value.

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.