RTA offers youth, college students free bus rides

Riverside Transit Agency is offering youth and college students free bus rides all year long through its Zero Dollars Ride Program. The free rides are made possible by a Low Carbon Transit Operations Program air quality grant that provides public transit funding for projects that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve mobility.  

From August 1 to June 2021, students from participating colleges and anyone 18 and younger can ride RTA for free anywhere they go, anytime they operate.

To ride, students at participating colleges will need to use the free mobile ticketing app. 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 18 years old and younger will need to 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’s age.

Riders are allowed to bring their bike or skateboard with them on the bus. Plus there is free Wi-Fi service and USB charging ports.  

Face coverings that cover the mouth and nose are required for all customers and coach operators. If you decline to wear one, you will not be able to ride. RTA is encouraging physical distancing onboard and while boarding. Up to seven customers can ride RTA’s smaller buses at one time, while up to 10 customers can ride the larger buses.

RTA said it has upgraded its on-board ventilation system and filters and is cleaning and sanitizing its buses with electrostatic foggers every day. Additionally, RTA is installing safety barriers on all buses to minimize contact between the drivers and customers.

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. For contactless payment, download the free Token Transit app. For more information, visit


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