Is MTS Compass Card San Diego’s Bus Ticket To 21st Century?


Bus fare is becoming a thing of the past,
riders are encouraged to use the compass card but we hear the compass card has a ways to
go.>>>Paul, CEO of the Metro transit system
is going to take the trolley and he’s loading his fare on to a compass card.
>>>You’ve got a blank card here and we’re going to put a day pass on it.
>>>He holds the card over an electronic eye on a ticket vending machine and the fare is
downloaded. The compass card is a “smart card” and it’s
been in use for several years but now the MTS is making it more difficult not to use
it. A day pass on the bus costs you $2 more if
you don’t use the card. Some riders all it a surcharge.
The point is to bring us into the 21st century.>>>Ultimately we hope it’s going to be easier
for the customer and provide them more options.>>>And get more people out of their cars
to use transit. They hope it will save printing costs and
make it harder to cheat the system.>>>We had a lot of fraud, day passes were
being reprinted and resold.>>>Lots of folks use compass cards and it’s
getting good reviews.>>>Right now it’s cheaper to buy a compass
card than it is to put gas in the car and go back and forth all the time.
>>>But San Diegans are stuffing dollar bills into the system as they avail themselves for
the card. For occasional users, it’s still an issue.
>>>I thought it would be great not to have to pay for bus ride you don’t need, I could
give it to my kids to take the bus home from school, see, I thought a compass card was
like a Starbucks card, put $20 on it and every time you want a cup of coffee they swipe it
at the cash register and it deducts the cost of one cup you use it until it’s used up.
Turns out you couldn’t use the compass card like that.
But it does not do, at least not yet, store value that can be used anytime you want.
Not all smart cards are the staple and in other places stored value is old news.
>>>This is London’s smart card freight collection system and it’s a card come memorandum more
rating the royal we hadding in 2011.>>>Weapon don’t know if the royal family
use the Oyster card but their subjects do. The system is designed and maintained by San
Diego based Cubic corporation, this company runs transit systems all around the world,
New York, Australia and San Diego. What about the Metro card, are you kidding?
>>I can get a new card or trade it in. If I have a bunch that I’m not sure how much
money is on them, I can trade them in and get it all on one card.
>>>Cubic’s representative showed me around and newsome says electronic fare systems can
solve a lot of problems.>>>A lot of it is speed, getting people in
and through quick and safely.>>>Given the thing that smart cards do in
other customers’ cities which will the compass card get on the bus?
Paul says the card will offer stored value starting later this year in San Diego.
He says they haven’t done it yet because they want more information about how customers
want to use it. Back at Cubic where they test smart card repetitiveness,
I asked newsome if they are state of the art.>>>It probably is state of the art, that
is what most systems have today. There is a new wave just starting now and
that’s taking those types of cards and putting them into phones.
>>>Many systems are experimenting with Smart Phone appses that do the same thing, and credit
cards with computer chips can be programmed to deduct fares at the transit system, someday
technology will leave the smart card behind at the station, Tom Fudge, KPBS news.

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11 thoughts on “Is MTS Compass Card San Diego’s Bus Ticket To 21st Century?

  1. Compass card is a good thing yet need to be improved. I have a compass card for  day trip if I need to take the trolley or the bus. Yet I use it rarely.

  2. Stored value is coming next month, if it goes to plan. You would be able to reload and ticket vending machines and at the Transit store, but a new fare system is being studied as the current Compass card system is horribly out of date.

  3. MTS is studying the fare system and it might point to an updated Cubic fare system or a brand new supplier. Stored value is coming to the current system, but not much else is to be expected until a new system arrives. Compass Cloud in the meanwhile is coming later this year, so you can pay with your phone and use your phone as a pass.

    New system could include fare capping, account based system, mobile payments, contactless pay, ability to paygo (pay as you go using gift cards you could buy at a store). Maybe a new system could enhance Compass Cloud by reading the barcode from your phone to validate your fare.

    New system has to be up in 2021, but probably before then as the Mid Coast trolley extension needs ticket machines, and they will likely be of the latest technology.

  4. This video is from 2013. It's now 2017 and it's still all talk. Nothing has improved. San Diego public transit is still difficult to take and you have to take care not to be stranded due to the limited times and changing schedules of transit runs.

  5. Personally, I think that cities should use a tax system to pay for public transport, that way people can just board and get on and get to work, school, doctor appointments, etc. Charge a tax from people's pay check and provide a way to board at no charge, or for a lower cost, more riders, taxes are covering costs of the business, and if you have no charge, there is not need to have an expensive running fare box, just a balance sheet to help the economic growth of MTS and reduce emissions. It also attracts more tourists which draws in more city and state revenue.

  6. Sdmt has set up transit in a predatory way. Unlike EVERY other large metro city I have lived in, san diego built its trolley stations as open air with no gates. Most cities require that the person pay first to even get onto the train and even the platform. Like BART. But san diego set this up in a way that allows anyone to just walk onto the train and enter the station without first paying. This requires sdmts to pay hundreds of glorified renta cops to shake down the riders and creates an opportunity for sdmts to fine riders who have not paid. When if the design was not intended to be predatory, the rider should not even have the opportunity to enter the train until they have paid. Myself for example have severe lupus and autism, in a hurry and flustered one day while not having my medication, 'I went to break a 20$ bill to load my card, but in the moment I honestly forgot to actually put the 5$ in the machine to load my card since the process of breaking the 20$bill registered incorrectly in my brain that I had already loaded my card. So I got on the train just before it left. Then a trolly cop approached me asked for my card, he scanned it and it showed I had not paid. When this happened I realized that I had gotten mixed up due to being flustered and explained myself and my medical condition, even showing the officer the four $5 bills that were in my pocket from the 20 I had just broken. So, about 4 officers surround me and escort me off the train as if I was wanted for treason or something… I pleaded with them for a warning stating that I am in a severe medical situation and disabled, even having a handicap placard but the officer told me "hes known amongst his peers as the hard ass who never gives breaks". Then proceeds to write me a $250 ticket. After stating that it only happened due to my brain medically malfunctioning and that I am unable to work due to my disability. I have lived in 5 large major metro cities and have NEVER seen such ABUSE. They set this up this way intentionally. If someone has a mental disorder and wanders onto the trolly…. then they have no right to fine them because they should not have been granted access to the service without paying first.

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