The current station opened on June 14, 1993, returning rail service to Riverside following the closure of the Santa Fe depot in 1984. The original depot, built in 1927, still stands a few blocks north of the current station. The Southwest Chief added a stop in Riverside in April 2002, after 18 years of not stopping at Riverside.
The station is a hub for Metrolink commuter rail, with three lines serving the station on weekdays, and two on weekends. (The San Bernardino line provides limited service to Riverside on weekends, along with the IE-OC line.) Trains traveling to and from Orange County board from the South platform, which is accessible via a bridge over the tracks. All weekend trains board on the South platform, across the bridge.
No ticketing agents are on site. Tickets for Metrolink may be purchased from the ticket vending machines located on all platforms. All Amtrak services require advanced reservations, but tickets can be picked up from Metrolink's ticket machines once reservations have been made either online or via telephone. Megabus reservations can only be made on their web site.
The Riverside Transit Agency provides free connecting transit service to Metrolink (but not Amtrak) passengers at the station on routes 1 and 16. The station is also a key link in the agency's CommuterLink express bus system, with routes 208, 210, and 212 providing connections to Temecula, Banning and Hemet respectively. These routes are also free with a valid Metrolink ticket or pass.