Riders must buy $2 Compass Card

by Declan Desmond

Thomas Skov, Staff Photographer

Students using public transit to get to San Diego State may have noticed a change in the way the Metropolitan Transit System sells tickets to trolley and bus riders.

In an effort to get rid of paper tick- ets, MTS discontinued the sale of single day passes in favor of plastic Compass Cards, which passengers can reload at automated ticket ma- chines, online, on the phone or at any Albertsons location.

On Nov. 19, a $2 fee was imple- mented for newly issued Compass Cards.

Riders without Compass Cards must pay the $2 fee for new cards in addition to the fare. Once purchased the Compass Cards can be used and reloaded repeatedly.

The Compass Card can also be loaded with other adult fares, includ- ing 30-Day Passes.

According to an MTS press re- lease, the company made the move to reduce fraudulent reselling of paper tickets.

“Compass Cards have many ad- vantages for our customers,” MTS Chief Executive Officer Paul Jablon-

ski said. “The greater flexibility, combined with our ability to better prevent fraud and counterfeiting, en- ables us to keep fares low for all pas- sengers.”

In September, when MTS intro- duced the Compass Cards, passen- gers were given free cards. Alhough MTS initially planned for the give- away to last until November 1st, the deadline was extended to Nov. 19 to give riders more time to obtain free cards.

According to the MTS press re- lease, the cards can be purchased at any trolley stop, but buses do not have the equipment to issue them. Bus riders may purchase a paper tick- et for $7, which includes the price of a Compass Card, and the ticket may be exchanged for a new card at the MTS Transit Store in downtown San Diego.

Accounting major Christina Ortiz said SDSU students shouldn’t be too inconvenienced by the new fees.

“It’s just $2 more,” she said. “I don’t think it affects that much, hon- estly.”

Riders may still buy one-way fares, which continue to be issued as paper tickets and do not require a Compass Card.