San Diego switches to account-based contactless transit ticketing with fare capping

San Diego contactless Pronto transit card
CAPPED FARES: Pronto enables real-time account management and contactless fare payment

San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) in the US state of California is rolling out an account-based contactless ticketing system that will let passengers pay their public transit fares with a physical or digital transit card and have those fares capped to a maximum of the price of a daily or monthly pass.

MTS’s account-based Pronto fare payment system will replace its existing Compass transit card and will also be available on services run by the North County Transit District (NCTD) in the northern part of the San Diego region.

“When you ride, the one-way fare will be deducted from the card you use — physical or virtual on your phone,” MTS explains.

“A rider will never be charged more than a day pass in a given calendar day, regardless of how many trips/taps they make. Likewise, a rider will never be charged more than a month pass regardless of the number of trips/taps in a calendar month.

“You’ll be able to track their progress toward a day or month pass on your smartphone or your online account.”

In addition to fare-capping, the new system will enable users to manage and upload funds to their Pronto account in real time.

“With Compass Card, fare information was held on the card and did not allow for immediate account management online or via the mobile phone app,” MTS explains.

Pronto, however, “allows for real-time account management. You can use your smart phones to load money to the account instantly. Value can also be added online, over the phone, at ticket vending machines, retail outlets, and at the MTS Transit Store and North County Customer Service Centers; and this value will be available instantly through every method.”

Passengers will also be able to use cash to add funds to their Pronto account at vending machines, retail outlets and service centres.

To promote the new system, MTS is letting passengers with a Pronto card or the Pronto mobile app ride for free on all services during the month of September.

MTS announced it was planning to roll out open loop contactless ticketing in January 2019.

San Diego switches to account-based contactless transit ticketing with fare capping was written by Tom Phillips and published by NFCW.