January 18, 2011

San Diego area transit lowers fares, extends service

Starting Jan. 20, the North County Transit District (NCTD) will implement a package of service changes that will give San Diego County residents and visitors more reasons to ride in 2011.

NCTD will reduce fares for Coaster trains and Breeze buses while extending Sprinter light rail service hours with late-night trains on weekends.

While the added Sprinter service hours will be permanent, the promotional Coaster and Breeze fare reductions will last for a period of one year. During this period, NCTD hopes to increase transit ridership by 5 percent over a span of 18 months.

Fare reductions on the Coaster and Breeze are designed to benefit a wide spectrum of transit riders, from daily commuters to single-ticket buyers seeking a scenic ride or baseball fans headed to a Padres game.

The additional weekday Sprinter service hours will provide transit riders with greater flexibility when commuting to and from work and school, while late-night trains on Fridays and Saturdays make it easier for riders to take advantage of North County’s nightlife attractions.

Changes include:

•    A decrease in price between $1 and $1.50, depending on zones, for a one-way Coaster ticket.

•    A decrease in price between $17 and $34, depending on zones, for monthly Coaster passes.

•    Two extra Sprinter evening trains leaving Escondido Monday through Thursday.

•    Additional late-night Sprinter trains on Friday and Saturday night.

•    A decrease in price from $2 to $1.75 on single-ride Breeze tickets. For seniors and customers who are disabled or on Medicare, the price drops from $1 to 75 cents.

Additionally, NCTD planners are in the midst of an extensive study meant to make bus routes more efficient based on where customers want to go. After reviewing community input, planners may implement the improved service plan this summer.

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