Riverside Transit Agency

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Riverside Transit Agency
Riverside Transit Agency (logo).png
RTA 2144.jpg
A NABI-manufactured Riverside Transit Agency bus in Riverside, California, United States
Founded 1975[1]
Headquarters 1825 Third Street
Riverside, CA 92517-1968[2]
Service area Western Riverside County, California, United States[1]
Service type Bus service, paratransit
Routes 44[3]
Fleet 306[3]
Fuel type Compressed natural gas[3]
Website http://www.riversidetransit.com

Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) is a joint powers agency that provides public transportation in western Riverside County, California, United States.[1] It operates more than 300 vehicles on 36 local fixed routes, eight long-distance "CommuterLink" express bus routes, and Dial-A-Ride service.[3] RTA was established on August 15, 1975 and began operating bus service on March 16, 1977.[1] RTA’s 2,500-square-mile (6,500 km2) service area is the second-largest in the United States,[3] with Riverside and the Pass area to the north, Hemet and San Jacinto to the east, Temecula to the south, and Corona, Norco and Eastvale to the west. In addition to Riverside County, RTA provides service to parts of San Diego, San Bernardino and Orange Counties. More than 22,000 passenger trips are counted each weekday.[4] During fiscal year 2012, the agency logged a record 8.8 million boardings.


RTA is governed by a board of directors composed of 21 elected officials - representatives from 17 cities in western Riverside County, and four members of the County Board of Supervisors.[5] The member jurisdictions include the cities of Banning, Beaumont, Calimesa, Canyon Lake, Corona, Eastvale, Hemet, Lake Elsinore, Moreno Valley, Menifee, Murrieta, Norco, Perris, Riverside, San Jacinto, Temecula, Wildomar and the unincorporated areas of Riverside County Supervisorial Districts I, II, III and V.

Fixed routes[edit]

RTA’s local and commuter fixed-route service includes 44 routes, 36 fixed routes and 8 commuter routes. The fixed-route service also includes tourist trolleys (stylized rubber-tired buses, not to be confused with actual trolleys). Fixed-route headways vary from 20-minute to 80-minute service with up to 17 hours of service on weekdays, 15 hours on Saturdays and 12 hours on Sundays.


In 2003, RTA launched CommuterLink, its first bus service designed to serve Riverside County’s growing number of commuters. The specially designed express buses have limited stop service to major transit centers and Metrolink stations in Riverside, San Diego and San Bernardino counties. In 2005, RTA debuted free Wi-Fi Internet and satellite television aboard its Temecula-Oceanside CommuterLink Route 202, making the agency the first in Southern California to offer such amenities aboard public buses. Wi-fi is now commonly offered on most of the agency's CommuterLink routes.

The CommuterLink system has continued to grow rapidly, with routes 210, 212 and 217 added since its inception. These routes serve Riverside-Banning, Riverside-Hemet, and Hemet-Escondido respectively. On June 1, 2010 the former Route 149 express, serving Riverside-Orange, became part of the CommuterLink system, offering riders upgraded on-board seating and amenities.[6]

Route list[edit]

Bus rapid transit[edit]

RTA plans on implementing a bus rapid transit (BRT) system along Magnolia Avenue, from Riverside to Corona, largely paralleling the existing Route 1 with limited stops and traffic-signal priority. The project as proposed would closely resemble LACMTA's Metro Rapid lines, with buses traveling in mixed traffic rather than a dedicated lane. Implementation has been delayed due to budgetary concerns.

BRT service along the I-15 and I-215 corridors is also under study.[7]


In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, RTA provides priority service to persons who, due to a disability, are unable to use the public fixed-route bus system. The curb-to-curb, advanced reservation service utilizes minibuses and vans to provide transportation to residents living in western Riverside County. The Dial-A-Ride service area is defined as up to ¾ mile on either side of an existing fixed-route. The service operates on the same days and at the same times as fixed-route service. The service experiences roughly 20,000 monthly boardings and costs $3 per boarding with a maximum fare of $9 per one-way trip based on the number of city zones travelled.


Fare Categories Base Fares Day Pass 7-Day Pass 30-Day Pass
General $1.50 $4 $16 $50
Youth (grades 1-12) $1.50 $4 $16 $35
Senior/Disabled 70¢ $2 $16 $23
Child (46" tall or under) 25¢ N/A N/A N/A
CommuterLink General/Youth $3 $7 N/A $75
CommuterLink Senior/Disabled $2 $5 N/A $50
CommuterLink Child $2 N/A N/A N/A

College passes[edit]

In September 2006, RTA partnered with the University of California, Riverside (UCR) to provide their students with an all-access bus pass. UC Riverside students get free rides by swiping their valid university identification cards through any RTA bus farebox when they board. The program, which is dubbed U-Pass, is designed to help ease traffic congestion around campus, reduce parking problems and encourage ride-sharing. Additionally, RTA operates a trolley service called the Crest Cruiser that is free to UCR students and travels around the university to off-campus housing and retail outlets. Students of La Sierra University have also benefited from U-Pass since January 2009, and California Baptist University joined the program in August 2009.

As of August 21, 2008, RTA has also partnered with Riverside Community College District (RCCD) to provide the same free transit services to students at the Riverside City and Moreno Valley college campuses. (The Norco campus failed to pass an initiative to fund the program, and currently only students at Riverside and Moreno Valley are eligible.) [8] The program, called Go Pass, requires that students swipe their valid RCCD College Cards through the bus farebox when boarding. No additional transit services have been implemented in conjunction with this partnership. As of November 2009, the Go-Pass has logged more than a million RCCD student rides averaging nearly 70,000 free rides per month.[9]

Fare subsidies[edit]

City of Riverside employees ride free under the CityPass program,[10] which was initiated in the summer of 2007.

Under an agreement with the Riverside County Courts, anyone serving as a juror at the Riverside, Banning and Murrieta Courthouses is entitled to free travel on any RTA bus.

The city of Riverside, using funding from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, began offering discounted bus passes to all residents of the city in December 2009. This program, called Riverside Go Transit, provides a 30% discount on monthly passes and a 20% discount on weekly passes.[11]

Transit centers[edit]

RTA maintains several transit centers throughout their service area. The primary transit center, the Riverside Downtown Terminal, is located between University and Mission Inn Avenues just west of Market Street in downtown Riverside. It has 8 bus bays and is located adjacent to the Riverside Greyhound station.

The new Perris transit center, located between 1st and 2nd Streets east of C Street in Perris, opened on January 10, 2010, with 6 bus bays and a park-and-ride lot. The center is also a station for weekend excursion trains from the Orange Empire Railway Museum, and will be a station on the Metrolink Perris Valley Line, which is scheduled to be running by 2011.

The Corona Transit Center opened in September 2010, adjacent to the North Main Corona Metrolink station. The center has 9 bus bays, additional park-and-ride parking, and a direct connection to the Metrolink station and its associated parking garage via a pedestrian bridge.

Major transfer points are also located at several shopping centers throughout the area: The Galleria at Tyler, the Moreno Valley Mall, the Hemet Valley Mall, the Lake Elsinore Outlet Center and Temecula's Promenade Mall.

To keep up with growing demand for public transit, RTA is developing several new transit centers. Plans are underway to construct new transit centers in Riverside (the current terminal is over capacity) and in Temecula.

New Vine Street Transit Center:Our new Vine Street Transit Center Terminal in downtown riverside is will plans to be project expansion is coming in 2016 of new bus bays of Omnitrans, Sunline Transit Agency and R.T.A. to new bus shelters and new bus stops.


Bus #2213 in Riverside's Canyon Crest neighborhood, running on RTA Route 16

RTA's 40-foot buses, Trolleys and CommuterLink buses are powered entirely by compressed natural gas, with the agency's conversion to the fuel completed in 2001. They also operate CNG fueling stations at their Riverside and Hemet maintenance facilities that help fuel not only transit vehicles, but the alternative-fuel fleet of various government agencies.[12]

On urban routes, the most common vehicle in the fleet is the NABI 40-LFW, a 40-foot low-floor bus. There are 94 of these vehicles in service, with 47 purchased in 2001 and in 2002. They bear either 2100- or 2200-series fleet numbers depending on their year of purchase. 3 New Flyer C40LF buses are still in the fleet, which bear 9700-series numbers, and 5 Flxible Metro "E" buses are also occasionally pressed into service.[12]

CommuterLink service is provided by a mix of vehicles. The 202 operates with Thomas Built Buses SLF232G's, which bear 3000-series numbers. The 206 uses specially painted and outfitted NABI 40LFW's. Many CommuterLink routes (and this often varies on a trip-by-trip basis) are operated with ElDorado National Aerotech cutaway vans, some of which are gasoline-fueled.[13]

Service on rural routes is primarily provided by El Dorado Aerotech vans of varying sizes, and trolley service is provided by Optima AH-28's.[12]

Our RTA-Riverside Transit Agency for retired buses from RTS and Flxible Buses will retired in 2002-2003 to new promo buses is coming in 2013-2014.


RTA is largely funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), State of California Transportation Development Act (TDA), the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program funds.

Transportation NOW[edit]

In 1992, RTA’s Board of Directors created Transportation NOW to promote the discussion of public transportation alternatives. Since then, the program has grown to include six chapters: Greater Riverside, Hemet San Jacinto area, Moreno Valley/Perris, Northwest, San Gorgonio Pass area, and Southwest. Each chapter meets monthly to discuss current issues surrounding public transit and ways to promote its usage and lobby for improvements.[14]


External links[edit]