Yesterday, after years of our advocacy, the Metropolitan Transit System finally voted to create free transfers for bus and trolley riders.
Circulate San Diego began advocating for free transfers on our transit system in 2018. We published research showing that MTS is one of the only large transit agencies in the United States that does not provide free or reduced-price transfers.
Our research and advocacy pushed MTS to reevaluate their approach. MTS staff incorporated our proposal into the recommended policy presented and adopted yesterday by the MTS Board.
A number of outlets reported on the move to free transfers, including the Voice of San Diego Politics Report, Voice of San Diego Morning Report, KUSI, ABC 10, Times of San Diego, Coast News, and KPBS.
On January 19, and again on March 9, 2021, Circulate sent a letter to the MTS Board of Directors, urging them to implement free transfers as a part of the current update to the region’s transit fare policy. After years of advocacy, finally we succeeded!
In addition to free transfers, the fare policy approved by the MTS board today includes a number of significant improvements, combining to become a cutting edge and progressive fare structure. Those elements include a Portland-style “best fare” functionality to avoid over-charging riders, and lower prices for one-way youth fares. The next step will be for a confirmation vote from SANDAG to implement these policies.
More work is surely needed, but San Diego is making important steps to make transit accessible and affordable for everyone. Support from our members are winning the day.
Executive Director and General Counsel
Circulate San Diego