Beginning this summer, most college students and anyone 18 and younger can ride Riverside Transit Agency buses for free all year long*.

To ride, students at participating colleges will use a free mobile ticketing app. Youth 18 and under will need to show valid ID to the driver. Once aboard, they can ride anywhere RTA buses go, anytime they operate. And yes, they can take your bike or skateboard with them on the bus.

With friendly drivers and a safe environment — and now free rides — RTA is a great option for young travelers headed to destinations near and far. Plus, there’s comfortable seating, free Wi-Fi service and USB charging ports to make the ride even better. Did we mention that it’s free? 

The free rides are made possible by a Low Carbon Transit Operations Program (LCTOP) air quality grant that provides public transit funding for projects that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve mobility.  


COLLEGE STUDENTS: When you register for classes, be sure to provide your mobile phone number. Then one week before classes start, you’ll receive a text message or email with instructions on downloading your free mobile pass. After that, simply validate your mobile pass whenever you board and enjoy the ride. Student ID cards will no longer be accepted. Participating schools include Cal Baptist University, La Sierra University, Moreno Valley College, Mt. San Jacinto College, Norco College, Riverside City College and UC Riverside. 

YOUTH: To ride for free, simply show a valid school ID from the current school year, an RTA Youth ID card, a California driver’s license or any state-issued ID showing the rider is under 18.

For schedule and route information, click here or contact RTA's Customer Information Center at (951) 565-5002.

. Dates subject to change.



On every trip you take with RTA, your safety and well-being is our number-one priority. We’re committed to giving you peace of mind when you travel with us. Here’s what RTA is doing to make your journey with us safe.

  1. Face coverings: Face coverings that cover the mouth and nose are required for all customers and coach operators. Be sure your face covering is on before you board and wear it during your entire trip. If you decline to wear one, you will not be able to ride.

  2. Expanded cleaning: For your peace of mind, RTA is cleaning and sanitizing buses with electrostatic foggers every day.

  3. Air filtration: We’ve upgraded our on-board ventilation system and filters to give you fresher, cleaner air while you ride.

  4. Safety barriers: To maintain a healthy environment while boarding, RTA is installing safety barriers on all buses to minimize contact between the drivers and customers. In the meantime, customers on buses without the barriers will be asked to board and exit from the rear doors to maximize safety.

  5. Maximum capacity: RTA is encouraging physical distancing onboard and while boarding. Up to seven customers can ride our smaller buses at one time, while up to 10 can ride our larger buses so there’s plenty of room to spread out.

  6. Service based on demand: We are always working hard to provide the most service possible based on demand and evolving health conditions. We are also collaborating with public health officials to keep our customers safe and our buses on the road. During these challenging times, RTA is operating a slimmed-down version of its service similar to a Sunday schedule. In some cases, sweeper buses are available to pick up anyone left behind due to capacity issues.

  7. Stay connected: Plan your next trip by visiting or calling our Customer Information Center at (951) 565-5002. Real-time bus schedule arrival information is available on the BusWatch and Transit apps. You can also get instant route and schedule updates by signing up for iAlerts or Bus Watch or visit us on social media to stay in the loop..

  8. Go touch-free: You can now scan your mobile pass to limit physical interactions. Download the free Token Transit app for contactless payment.

  9. Keeping everyone safe: In an effort to maintain a safe environment onboard the bus, all RTA employees are required to pass a health check before starting work every day.

  10. Don’t travel if you’re sick: Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick.


 Learn about the Vine Street Mobility Hub

RTA is hosting a virtual public workshop to share information and solicit public feedback on the future mobility hub on Vine Street near downtown Riverside. The mobility hub will be located across the street from the Riverside-Downtown Metrolink Station, and close to entertainment and employment destinations. This workshop is a great resource for members of the public and stakeholders to learn more about this significant project and get updates from the first workshop held in Fe


DATE: Thursday, June 25 through Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The virtual meeting will focus on the following: 

  • Project area 
  • Site plan
  • Station elements
  • Concepts/designs
  • Project schedule
  • Overview sheet
  • Feedback station

Visit the project website to access the virtual meeting room:

On Independence Day, Saturday, July 4, RTA buses will not operate and the Customer Information Center will be closed. In observance, RTA’s administrative offices will be closed on Friday, July 3. Bus service resumes Sunday, July 5.

In  light of the coronavirus pandemic, RTA is working hard to maintain strong service and healthy conditions aboard our buses. We recommend checking our website daily for service updates as your travel plans could be affected by temporary route and trip suspensions. Thank you for your patience as we work together for a common goal of resuming normal service. See below to learn more about service adjustments, what we are doing to keep you safe and what you can do to stay healthy. 


RTA is proud to keep our buses rolling for essential travel. Whether you need a ride to work, the supermarket or medical facilities, you can rely on RTA to get you to your destination. 

Thank you for your patience as we all work together during this challenging time to maintain a healthy environment aboard our buses. Safety is our number-one priority so please continue to do your part by following these simple steps:  

  • Travel only for essential purposes.
  • Keep at least six feet away from other riders and drivers. 
  • Be sure to wear a face cover. 
  • Go touch-free. Buy your next bus pass using the Token Transit app.
  • You may verbally request your stop as it approaches instead of pushing the stop request signal.
  • Whenever possible, board and exit from the rear doors. 
  • Practice frequent handwashing and use hand sanitizer.

These precautions apply to every vehicle in our fleet, including local fixed route and CommuterLink buses as well as our Dial-A-Ride vehicles. 


To help fight the COVID-19 pandemic, RTA asks all customers to wear a face mask that covers their nose and mouth while on board. The masks don’t have to be hospital grade. They can be bandannas, fabric masks or neck gaiters. 


RTA has switched to rear-door boarding on our larger buses in order to maximize the safety of our drivers and customers. RTA is also practicing social distancing by limiting the number of customers on large buses to 10 and seven customers on most small buses. Many seats on our buses are off limits to allow customers to spread out.

  • Customers must board and exit the bus using the rear door.
  • Customers with mobility devices or those needing boarding assistance can use the front door.
  • Fares will continue to be honored.
  • Customers riding smaller buses and Dial-A-Ride vehicles can board from the front.


Bus Boarding Diagram v02


Due to declining ridership triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, RTA is running a slimmed-down version of service on par with its reduced Sunday schedule. The new schedule began Sunday, April 5 and is expected to last until revenue and ridership increase enough to justify service expansion. The reduced service levels have affected most of RTA’s 47 routes. See the details below on which routes are affected with links to schedules. If you have any questions, please contact the Customer Information Center at (951) 565-5002.


To help contain the spread of the coronavirus and to prioritize the safety of our customers and staff, RTA is taking several precautionary measures. We are taking special care to maintain a clean environment aboard our buses, including the use of disinfectant on areas that are commonly touched (seat backs, fare box, driver controls, handrails, etc.). RTA is also monitoring situational updates and following guidance from regional, state and national health organizations regarding the coronavirus pandemic.


RTA’s reception area remains closed until further notice. Customers can contact the following number for assistance:

  • For route and schedule information, call our Customer Information Center at (951) 565-5002 weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. or weekends and holidays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • For bus pass information, call (951) 565-5002 or visit the Fares & Passes page on our website. The nearest pass outlet to our Riverside office is Friendly Liquor, 3962 University Avenue, (951) 787-9224. You can also download mobile bus passes on the Token Transit app.
  • For lost and found, please call (951) 565-5000.


The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. 


Please don’t hesitate to contact RTA’s Customer Information Center at (951) 565-5002 to learn about affected routes and ways to plan your next trip. You can also follow us on social media, subscribe to iAlert or email us at  for latest updates. 


According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website, coronavirus is a respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus. RTA is monitoring situational updates and guidance from the Center for Disease Control, the California Department of Health and the County of Riverside to stay on top of the situation.    

Where else can I go for additional information on the coronavirus?  

  • Global – World Health Organization
  • Federal – Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA), US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Domestic – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • State – California Department of Health
  • Local – Riverside County Public Health

RTA  is proposing several route and schedule changes that are expected to take effect over the next several months. It’s all part of our effort to meet the changing needs of our valued customers and evolve with our growing communities. Click below for details on the proposed changes and see how you can get involved.