MTS receives funding from a number of sources including the locally-approved sales tax TransNet (countywide half-cent sales tax approved by voters in 1987 and extended in 2004), state and federal funding, and fare revenue. The MTS share of TransNet funding is currently 1/8 of a cent.

When compared to peer agencies across the country, MTWhen compared to peer agencies across the country, MTS receives far less of a public subsidy from its locally-passed sales tax than other transit agencies.

San Diego

18 Circle

San Francisco

Full Circle And Half Circle

Los Angeles

Two Full Circles

However, the agency still boasts one of the highest farebox recovery ratios in the nation, meaning over a third of its costs is paid by its riders. Here’s a look a revenue sources for MTS’ 2019 operating budget (approximately $280 million):

Revenue Sources

Piechart Operatingrevenue

MTS has demonstrated its commitment to being an excellent steward of public funds, and to an open and transparent process. MTS is audited by federal, state and local agencies on a regular basis.

  • In 2018, the agency received its fourth consecutive perfect triennial audit from the Federal Transit Administration, an unprecedented achievement. 
  • MTS’ Finance Department has received 12 consecutive Certificate of Achievement in Excellence Awards from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.

If a new sales tax measure is proposed and passes, it

Additionally, a 2019 economic impact study, completed by Point Loma Nazarene University’s Fermanian  Business and Economic Institute, found that every $1 invested into MTS yields a $2.82 return to the local economy. In total, it is estimated that MTS has an annual positive economic impact of more than $1 billion to the San Diego region. Learn More