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Commuter Programs FAQs

FAQs for Commuter Services

  • Where and when can I purchase a transit pass?

    Parking and Commuter Services sells a monthly transit pass that is good on the Sprinter train and the Breeze bus system in North County only. Daily passes can be purchased at the transit stations.  For other passes; such as youth, disabled, or regional passes, you can purchase these at the various transit centers, located in Oceanside, Escondido, or Vista. The pass is loaded onto a plastic card, known as the Compass Card. 

    The monthly Sprinter/Breeze transit pass can be purchased from the 25th of the month through the 15th of the current month the pass is good for.  For example if you wish to purchase a September compass card monthly transit pass, you can purchase from the 25th of August to the 15th of September. Purchases can be made during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm at the Parking and Commuter Services office.

  • How do I qualify for a discounted monthly transit pass?

    Parking and Commuter Services and North County Transit District subsidize the monthly Sprinter/Breeze transit pass for CSUSM students enrolled in two or more classes that have a current validated CSUSM ID card. This pass is sold only at the Parking and Commuter Services Office.
  • What is the Compass Card?

    The Compass Card is a plastic card that is reusable and reloadable that the monthly transit pass is loaded onto.
  • What happens if my Compass Card is lost or stolen?

    Report the lost or stolen card to San Diego Metropolitan Transit System.  If you did not register your Compass Card, you will be responsible for purchasing a new pass.  The pass is not refundable or replaceable if not registered.
  • How do I register my Compass Card?

    There are two (2) ways to register your Compass Card: by phone – call 511 and say “Compass” or you can fill out a registration form and submit it to MTS.

    Forms are available at the MTS Transit Store and NCTD Customer Service Centers, or can be downloaded from Then, fax, e-mail, or mail the completed form to MTS.

  • What forms of payment can I use to purchase my transit pass?

    In the Parking and Commuter Services office, we accept cash, check, debit, and credit card.
  • I carpool to campus. Are there any advantages?

    Yes. Registered carpool groups with a valid CSUSM Carpool parking permit are eligible to park in reserved, close-in parking spaces found in most of the general lots and parking structure.  To register your carpool group, At least two people in the carpool group will need to complete the Carpool Application Form at the Parking and Commuter Services office. The cost of a General Carpool permit is $338. The carpool permit is also valid in any of the general spaces in General lots and structure.  When you purchase your carpool permit, each rider will receive three complimentary daily parking permits. An individual is eligible for the complimentary permits in only one carpool.
  • How can I find a carpool partner?

    Here are some options to help you find rides and or carpool partners:

    1. Post a request on the carpool bulletin board in the Commuter Lounge.  The lounge is located on the first floor of the University Student Union.
    2. Use the regional ride matching program. You can register at Use your campus email to only match with fellow campus members.
    3. Use Waze Carpool, a mobile application you can download for free (available for iOS and Android). The app helps you connect with fellow students for rides.
    4. Ask around - there may be someone seated next to you in class that commutes from the same area.

    The University provides the information above as a means to contact and meet others who may have similar transportation needs. You are ultimately responsible for your safety. The University cannot and does not ensure the lawful behavior of the people who use this service. The University does not screen any postings to this service. You take full responsibility for ensuring your personal safety.   However, by taking some common sense precautions, you can find a ride, make new friends, and reduce your transportation costs.

  • If I ride my bike to campus where can I park it?

    Bike racks are located at lots E, H, K, L, O, University Hall, by PS1, SBSB, Kellogg Library, Craven Circle, and Chavez Circle.  Bike lockers are located in lots E, L, and by PS1. Bike lockers can be rented through the Parking and Commuter Services office.
  • Is there a place to put my gear when riding my bike to campus?

    Bike lockers for bikes and gear are available for rent through the Parking and Commuter Services office.  There is a $15 semester rental fee and a refundable key deposit of $30. The University Student Union has day-use lockers for gear and books in the Commuter Lounge on the first floor and in the hall on the 4th floor.
  • Does the campus have electric vehicle charging stations?

    There are 6 electric vehicle charging stations located in the parking structure (PS1). Five (5) of the stations are located along the eastside of PS1 on the first floor. The other electric vehicle charging station is ADA compliant and located on the NW side of PS1 on the first floor next to the elevators.
  • Does it cost to use the electric vehicle charging stations?

    There is a minimal fee which you can pay for as a guest or become a member and purchase through your account.  This payment system is overseen by Blink Network.

    You must also have a valid CSUSM permit.

  • Why is there a charge to use the electric vehicle charging stations?

    The campus uses a third party vendor to manage the charging stations. The vendor sets the fee.  This covers cost of maintenance and software system.  The University gets a small share to cover the cost of electricity used.
  • What options do I have if I don’t bring a car to campus?

    There is the North County Transit system which consists of the Sprinter train that runs east to west, Escondido to Oceanside and back, as well as several Breeze bus routes.

    There are Zipcars located on campus that students can reserve hourly or daily.

  • What is the Zipcar?

    Zipcar is a car-sharing company. Zipcar provides automobile reservations to its members, billable by the hour or day.  The campus has two Zipcars located on the first floor of the parking structure.  Employees and students are eligible to join using their campus emails.  Driver must be at least 18 years old, and have a valid driver’s license in good standing. International driver’s licenses are accepted. There is a small fee to join and the vehicles can be reserved hourly or per day. Gas, insurance, and maintenance are included in the reservation fee. Once you become a member you receive a Zipcard which is your key to unlock and lock the vehicle. Vehicles are available 24/7. To join or for more information go to
  • What is Waze Carpool?

    Waze Carpool connects riders and drivers with nearly identical commutes based on their home and work addresses. Thanks to Waze advanced mapping capabilities, the platform connects carpool partners from the same local community, making it easy to carpool with neighbors and colleagues you know or haven't met yet. Waze Carpool Site.
  • If I don’t have a car, how can I get to campus from Riverside County?

    There is a regional bus route – RTA 217 – that starts at Mt. San Jacinto College in Riverside County and travels down the 15 freeway to the Escondido Transit Center.  From there, a transfer to the Sprinter is required to travel to the campus. For complete route information, schedules and fares go to