Kids ride free with San Diego’s Youth Opportunity Pass

MTS Bus in San Diego

Next stop, free for youth riders. | Photo via @amricanbuses1717

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Ready to ride? The Metropolitan Transit System is launching its Youth Opportunity Pass (YOP) program this Sunday. Young riders will be able to scan their PRONTO cards and use public transportation services at no costa first for San Diegans. Before this pilot program leaves the station, let’s check out the basics you’ll need to know.

MTS Trolley to UTC in San Diego

The new MTS Trolley to UTC. | Photo via @marcretaphotography

🚍 Why is this important?

The San Diego Association of Governments introduced YOP as a component of the city’s Transit Equity Pilot program, providing mobility solutions to underserved communities. As public transit services expand, SANDAG believes the program will enable young people to access essential services + help build lifelong riders.

💳 Who can ride?

People ages 5-18 with a PRONTO card or app account qualify for free rides. They’ll also need to show proof of eligibility, like a school ID, passport, driver’s license, or Youth photo ID PRONTO cards.

🚎 How to ride

The program provides access to MTS Trolley + bus services, plus the North County Transit District’s FLEX, BREEZE, SPRINTER, and COASTER trains. There’s no limit on the number of rides — go to school, practice, a Padres game, or visit a friend.

🛤️ Get on track

The YOP helps new riders become familiar with public transportation options. While they become familiar with services, the city has resources ready for those who need training wheels.

Mayor Todd Gloria celebrating the launch of PRONTO's Youth Opportunity Program

Mayor Todd Gloria celebrating the launch of YOP. | Photo via @toddgloria

⏱️ How long will the program last?

Currently, the YOP pilot program is scheduled to run through July 31, 2023. It may be renewed, because the Transit Equity Pilot includes program evaluation. If it isn’t, youth riders will be eligible to receive discounted rates on the PRONTO card.