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 18 or younger.

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

. Dates subject to change.


Filename Date Size
An Adobe Acrobat file Zero Dollar Ride Program | Youth 08-01-2020 1.84 MB
An Adobe Acrobat file Zero Dollar Ride Program | RCC-MVC-MSJC-NC 08-01-2020 1.28 MB
An Adobe Acrobat file Zero Dollar Ride Program | La Sierra 08-01-2020 994.05 KB
An Adobe Acrobat file Zero Dollar Ride Program | Cal Baptist 08-01-2020 1.84 MB


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.