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Compass is a smart card fare-payment system for San Diego County. As a smart card system, Compass cards are capable to store passes. Eventually cash values can be stored on the card as well.

Compass web site

Compass cards are accepted on San Diego MTS, San Diego Trolley, NCTD Breeze bus, Sprinter, and Coaster.


Card features

  • Riders can use the same card to transfer between different transit providers
  • If the card is registered, the owner can restore balance in the event of loss, theft, or damage
  • Passes on the card can be replenished automatically.

Card drawbacks

  • Card costs $2
  • Youth and seniors need to register in advance to receive a youth or senior Compass card. Youth and senior pass cannot be added onto a regular Compass card.
  • Requires riders to tap the card at the reader when boarding San Diego Trolley, Sprinter, or Coaster each time, even if they already have a valid pass. Failure to do so is subject to citation.

Where to get cards

How to add Pass

Regardless of where you get the card, you can always add value to your card through:

If you choose to add value through the web site, it would take up to three days for the values to show up on the reader.

How to pay with the card

Simply tag the card on the Compass logo appearing on every Compass reader and hold it for a beep.