Say goodbye to the Compass Card


Cody Cook

The Sprinter is a favored form of alternative transportation for some CSUSM students.

As the 2019 fall semester begins, students, faculty and staff who use public transportation have returned to a price hike and changes in their monthly commuter passes. 


Effective Sept. 1, the Compass Card that many commuters are familiar with will now be called the Regional Adult Pass. The pass will cost $50 for students and $65 for staff and faculty, with a valid ID, compared to the prior rate of $40.


The well-known Compass Card will no longer be available throughout San Diego County. Its replacement, the Regional Adult Pass will work similarly to its predecessor. Commuters will be able to use the pass on the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) Trolley, Bus/Express and Rapid, as well as the North County Transit District (NCTD) Sprinter and Breeze services. The only difference is that the pass is not valid on the Coaster. 


The hike in prices follows a fare change throughout both of the transportation services. Both MTS and NCTD are raising the prices for their transportation services, but the cost to operate these systems has increased by almost 25%. According to MTS, their expenses have exceeded their revenues by almost $10 million.


The Parking and Commuter Services website states that they are “committed to ensuring that our campus community will have accessible transportation methods.” 


Silvia Lopez, a commuter programs assistant, said that “both the NCTD and MTS wanted to make their prices more uniform between both of their services.” Since this new monthly pass is offered throughout San Diego County. 


Lopez said that there has not been any backlash towards the price change in the student pass because “students who regularly purchase monthly passes through other transit offices like the student price offered [through Parking and Commuter Services],” since it saves them money. 


Lopez also said there are some students who only use the NCTD pass and were a little angered with the $10 increase.

Julieta Enriquez, who constantly uses public transportation is not phased with the price hike on the pass. “The regular price is a bit expensive, like the monthly pass for both the bus and the Sprinter I believe is $72 a month and that is just for the adult. But buying it at school is cheaper, and I feel that it helps me save up money,” said Enriquez. 


Students who wish to purchase the Regional Adult Pass can visit the Parking and Commuter Services Office. The passes are available to purchase from the 25th of the previous month to the 15th of the current month and are valid from the first of the next month. For example, if students purchase their pass on Sept. 25 through Oct. 15, it is valid to use for the whole month of October. 


For any questions contact Parking and Commuter Services at (760)750-7520 or visit their office located at Public Safety Building 63.