San Diego launches regional smart card

Posted on May 1, 2009

The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and its partner agencies, the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) and the North County Transit District (NCTD), launched the county’s new transit smart card Friday.


Over the next several months the high-tech pass will replace traditional paper transit passes for 90,000 riders throughout the region.


The new Compass Card — a reusable, reloadable transit pass — will provide a host of new benefits for riders, including the ability to register the card for balance protection, automatic reloading, and monthly and 30-day passes. Validators permanently placed on buses and at rail stations read the Compass Card electronically when riders “tap” their card.


SPRINTER and Breeze riders will convert from paper to Compass Cards with their June passes. MTS bus and Trolley riders will begin to purchase Compass Cards at the end of June.


San Diego-based company Cubic Corp. built the system.


SANDAG also announced a new exclusive partnership with Vons, which will be the only grocery store in the region contracted to sell the card to the public.

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