Frequently Asked Questions
PRONTO cards are $2 and available at retail outlets, the MTS Transit Store and NCTD Customer Service Centers, and ticket vending machines. The available locations are listed on the card map. Some retail outlets will only load value onto cards and not sell cards. At time of purchase or reload, you will need to add a minimum of $5 onto your PRONTO account. You can also set-up an account with the PRONTO app on your smart phone. NOTE: Physical PRONTO cards and virtual cards on the PRONTO phone app are not interchangeable. They act as separate cards.
You can add a dollar value or a Month Pass to your account online, through the mobile app, at ticket vending machines, or at the MTS Transit Store or NCTD Customer Service Centers. Retail outlets will only add value to PRONTO accounts. They will not sell month or day passes.
Additionally, there will only be one PRONTO card type (no more SDM or Youth specific cards). Cards can be changed to reduced fare accounts at the MTS Transit Store or NCTD Customer Service Centers. If you already have an Adult PRONTO card, you can request a change to a Reduced Fare Card online at: https://www.sdmts.com/PRONTOReducedFares
You will need a PRONTO card prior to setting up an account (unless you're using the mobile app). Once you have a card, you can register online here. You will need an email address to set-up a PRONTO account online. (Riders without an email address can register their card in-person at the Transit Store, or over the phone with the PRONTO Support team at 619-595-5636.)
Once in the account, you can:
- Add your PRONTO card number for balance protection and account management
- Link a credit or debit card for quick and easy payments.
- View your past trips and charges, monitor progress towards earning a Day or Month Pass, and more.
- You can also add family members to the same account to manage multiple PRONTO products in one place
If you wish to use the mobile app in addition to a physical card, you should use the same email address and login information for the PRONTO app to ensure the accounts are linked.
If you want to use the mobile app, you will download the PRONTO app and setup an account using your email address and a credit/debit card. Apple Pay and Google Pay are not currently accepted. A physical PRONTO card can be added to the user account within the online portal.
NOTE: Physical PRONTO cards and virtual cards on the PRONTO phone app are not interchangeable. They act as separate cards.
The PRONTO mobile app is available for rider download in the App Store and Google Play. You can find the app by searching for "PRONTO San Diego" or by clicking here for the app links. Riders can download the mobile app and register using their email address, and by adding a payment option (credit or debit card - Apple Pay and Google Pay are not currently accepted). Riders will not need to add any money into their mobile app to take advantage of free rides.
With PRONTO, all account information is held in the cloud instead of on the card. This will allow almost instant uploading of money or month passes to your account.
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. With PRONTO, you can use either your PRONTO card or PRONTO phone app - just like a Starbucks card! Just use your PRONTO card or the barcode on your phone to ride. NOTE: Physical PRONTO cards and virtual cards on the PRONTO phone app are not interchangeable. They act as separate cards.
When you ride, the one-way fare will be deducted from the card you use - physical or virtual on your phone. 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 smart phone or your online account.
With PRONTO, you always get the best fare! The primary difference is that riders will not need to buy passes in advance. You can earn-as-you-go by adding money to your PRONTO account. Every time you tap to board a vehicle, the appropriate one-way fare is deducted from your balance. 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 will be able to track their progress toward a Day or Month Pass on your PRONTO app or online account.
Riders will still have the option to buy a Month Pass in advance for all buses, Trolley and SPRINTER. COASTER will require up-front payment for a Day or Month Pass.
PRONTO is also an account-based system that 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. No more waiting!
Cash can be used to add value to your account using: ticket vending machines, retail outlets, the MTS Transit Store and North County Customer Service Centers.
You can add money to your PRONTO account in the amount of a Day Pass (or add more money for future use, too). The appropriate one-way fare will be deducted every time you board a vehicle and tap your card/scan the mobile barcode. In a single day, no more than the value of a Day Pass will be deducted from the account, no matter how many rides are taken that day.
Over the course of a month, you can add more money to your account to continue riding. During the calendar month, no more than the value of Month Pass will be deducted from the account no matter how many rides are taken in a given calendar month. You can track your progress toward a Day or Month Pass in your online account.
If you chose, you may purchase a Month Pass in advance. Month passes are available from the 1st to the 19th of the calendar month. The next calendar month's pass will be available to purchase starting on the 20th of the calendar month. For instance, if it is October 1st through the 19th, your Month Pass will be good for October. If it is October 20th or later, your Month Pass will be good for November. If you need to ride from the 20th to the end of the month and you purchased next month's pass, just load money to your card to cover your trips for that time period.
Please note, the COASTER requires advance purchase of Day and Month passes. One-way COASTER fares can be deducted from money loaded into a PRONTO account, but tapping and having one-way fares deducted will not result in a Day Pass best fare on COASTER.
All sales are final. Refunds will not be issued for transit pass products or money loaded onto a PRONTO card(s).
Get the PRONTO App
Get the PRONTO App by searching for "PRONTO San Diego" or by using the links below.
PRONTO Rider's Guide
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