Celebrating 40 Years of Service | 1977 - 2017

Looking Back, Moving Forward

The Riverside Transit Agency proudly celebrates 40 years of service to our loyal customers across the region. Four decades ago, when disco reigned and platform shoes, bell bottoms and lava lamps were in fashion, a handful of mechanics and bus drivers met in a converted gas station in downtown Riverside determined to make history. On the first day of service, March 16, 1977, RTA rolled out 26 used vehicles on six routes. Back then, RTA’s service area was just 300 square miles. General fares were a quarter and senior and disabled customers rode for a dime. The first week of service was a promising one, with the brand-new transit agency logging more than 12,000 boardings. Today, our buses carry nearly nine million boardings a year aboard 

36 local fixed routes, eight CommuterLink express routes and a flourishing Dial-A-Ride service. RTA’s 2,500 square-mile service area remains among the largest in the nation — with Riverside to the north, Hemet, San Jacinto and the Pass Area to the east, Temecula and Murrieta to the south and Corona and Norco to the west. Our buses travel more than 15 million miles each year and tally nearly 30,000 passenger trips each weekday. In the 40 years since we began service, our vehicles have handled an astonishing 220 million trips. So much has changed since 1977, but one thing has remained the same: RTA’s pledge to deliver world-class service to every customer on every trip. It’s been a heck of a ride and we look forward to another 40 years of service!


As part of Riverside Transit Agency's 40-year anniversary, we gave away a free lunch to 40 lucky passengers in 2017 courtesy of Sub Station at UC Riverside. It's our way of saying thank you for four decades of support and loyalty! To be entered into the contest, customers simply needed to use social media to connect with RTA.