New SANDAG program to offer free transport to young people

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Association of Governments announced Friday that customers under 18 using the bus, trolley, COASTER and SPRINTER will be able to ride for free starting May 1.

In partnership with the Metropolitan Transit System, North County Transit District and San Diego County, SANDAG is launching the Youth Opportunity Pass pilot program, which aims to “help create a more equitable region by ensuring that safe, healthy and accessible opportunities are available to everyone. .” It lasts until June 30, 2023.

“Eligible passengers will need a Youth PRONTO app account or card to participate in the program,” transit officials said in a news release Friday. “The Youth Opportunity Pass program is the first of its kind in the San Diego area.”

The program also includes:

  • Increased transit service on overnight and weekend routes to traditionally underserved areas of the region, expected to begin in late 2022
  • Working with community organizations throughout the San Diego area to distribute youth passes to young people and to educate residents about existing and added services in their areas
  • A research study to assess the benefits of the pilot program

For more information on the Youth Opportunity Pass pilot program and where to get a free PRONTO card for young people, visit

Ryan H. Bowman