I know that in the SF Bay Area these days if you use a Clipper card to pay fares and the total number of fares paid to a particular transit agency amounts to the cost of a day pass for that agency the Clipper card will automatically treat it as a day pass and will not charge any more fares from your account for any additional rides on that transit agency. Is this the case with San Diego County and its transit agencies that use Compass cards?

It is really a good idea as we don’t know how many rides we will take and whether it’s worth it or not to buy a day pass in the first place. Just an FYI in San Diego County there is a Region plus day pass that is good for all transit agencies including Coaster until the end of the day for $12. A good bargain given a single ride fare between Oceanside and Santa Fe costs about $6.

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    Doesn't look like it. See the multiple modes note. They also describe how to load a day pass onto a compass card.
    – mkennedy
    Commented Dec 28, 2017 at 23:28
  • As a sidenote, I don't believe Clipper does this in the Bay Area for all agencies. Day passes for Caltrain aren't even available on Clipper, and it should just charge you for every ride, even if that's more expensive. Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 0:22

1 Answer 1


No. According to the MTS page on Compass Cash, the prepaid credit program for Compass Cards:

Each time you tap on Trolley validators, or on the bus fare box for a one-way ticket, the value of that one-way fare will be deducted from your Compass Cash balance. You can deduct multiple one ways during the day or load a Day Pass. [...] Once a Day Pass is loaded, one way fares will no longer be deducted for the remainder of the operational day (for modes that accept the $5.00 day pass).

In other words, there is no automatic fare capping for Day Passes; you must explicitly load a Day Pass when boarding your first bus or at the ticket machine at your first station for rail services to avail the fare cap.

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