Press Releases

Press Releases

Get a glimpse of what’s making news at RTA.

Board Member Nears End of Epic Journey

Next Thursday, RTA Board member Randon Lane will become first to ride all bus routes

Looking for someone who knows how to get around on the bus? Just ask Riverside Transit Agency Chairman Randon Lane. After all, he’s ridden on virtually every bus route. All 48 of them. Both ways.

Lane’s public transportation odyssey — which has stretched from his home city of Murrieta to San Bernardino, from Corona to Escondido, Riverside to Disneyland, and everything in between — comes to an end next Thursday, January 24 when his Route 10 bus stops at RTA headquarters in Riverside.

When that happens, Lane will be the first person to have ridden every bus route from end to end, east-west and north-south. That’s 2,000 miles and no small accomplishment considering that’s almost as many miles as it takes to go from the Inland Empire to Chattanooga, Tennessee.

For Lane, who owns his own car, this epic bus journey is all about experiencing firsthand the routes and customers that he — and his fellow Board members — are making decisions about.

“This journey has given me a chance to meet some wonderful people and gain a special insight into how and where our buses operate and the evolving needs of our customers,” he said. “It’s been a great experience.”

When his travels end next week, Lane will have spent 113 hours and parts of 35 days inside dozens of buses. Much of that time was spent meeting drivers, mingling with students, commuters and other regulars while getting work done on his laptop.

“There’s a lot more to public transit than people think,” Lane said. “The conversations I’ve had with our customers and the things I’ve learned along the way have been priceless.”

Randon Press Release

RIVERSIDE, CA — January 15, 2019 

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Students Ride The Bus For A Quarter On Winter Break

Promotion runs from December 21 through January 13

Students itching to get out of the house during winter break are in luck.

The Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) is once again offering a special 25-cent fare for students who ride the bus between December 21 and January 13. That means anyone in grades 1-12 with a valid school ID can ride for a quarter to the movies, the mall, a friend’s house, Disneyland — anywhere RTA buses goes, anytime they operate.

With a safe environment, comfortable seating, bike racks, free Wi-Fi service and USB charging ports, it’s a great time to ride the bus.

For years, RTA has offered discounts to youth riders, but this approach of offering rides for a quarter has been especially effective in igniting interest in public transit. In fact, when RTA launched the quarter-rides during the summer and winter breaks of 2017, youth ridership climbed by 44,000 boardings. This summer, RTA buses carried more than 190,000 youth boardings, up 26 percent compared to last year. RTA expects another ridership boost this winter thanks to the 25-cent fares.

RTA Chairman of the Board Randon Lane said the program has increased bus ridership during a traditionally slow time for youth riders.

“There’s no doubt that this program is attracting a whole new generation of youth riders,” Lane said. “We are excited to roll out this program for students needing a lift during winter break.”

The quarter rides couldn’t come at a better time. More bus routes than ever are operating on weekends, the popular Route 200 continues to take a growing number of customers to Disneyland, and Route 202 provides express service to the beach. Plus, service is always evolving to serve top local destinations as well as to connect with Metrolink trains headed to more distant places.

While a school ID is the preferred method of getting a 25-cent ride, bus drivers also accept RTA Youth ID cards, California driver’s licenses or state IDs showing the rider is under 19 years old.

RIVERSIDE, CA — December 19, 2018

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Lane To Lead Riverside Transit Agency In 2019

Murrieta’s Randon Lane unanimously chosen as new chair for RTA’s 42nd year

The Riverside Transit Agency’s (RTA) Board of Directors has unanimously chosen Murrieta City Council Member Randon Lane to lead the 22-member governing board for the upcoming year.

As chair, Lane will be responsible for leading the RTA Board in setting policy, guiding Agency priorities, conducting the Agency’s monthly Board meetings and representing RTA during public events. Lane, who has been on the Board since 2009 and served as first vice chairman in 2018, fills the position most recently held by Banning City Council Member Art Welch.

“I am honored to be selected by my fellow Board members for this important position,” Lane said. “This is an exciting time for the Riverside Transit Agency as we continue to evolve in significant ways to ensure public transportation remains a vital part of our communities.”

RTA Board members also voted Wildomar City Council Member Bridgette Moore as first vice chair and Norco City Council Member Berwin Hanna as second vice chair.

Lane has been a strong proponent of public transportation in Riverside County and beyond. In fact, he has made it a personal challenge to ride all of RTA’s 47 routes, a task he expects to complete next month.

In addition to his responsibilities on the Board of Directors, Lane also sits on RTA’s Administration and Operations Committee and is a long-standing member of the Southwest Chapter of Transportation NOW, a grassroots group dedicated to promoting public transportation in the region.

Lane assumes leadership during a period of remarkable growth. From the launch of RapidLink Gold Line express service, to the end of construction on the Temecula Mobility Hub, to renewed partnerships with area colleges and universities, to new service to Disneyland, and special programs that pumped up youth ridership — RTA is growing like never before.

“RTA is powered by experience, inspired by our customers and motivated to push the limits of public transportation,” Lane said. “It’s a great time to be a bus rider.”

RIVERSIDE, CA — December 14, 2018

Randon Lane

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Hero Driver Rescues Child From Busy Street

Claudia Mendez applauded for compassion and customer service

A Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) coach operator is being praised for helping a young mother who was having a seizure at a bus stop and caring for her daughter until help arrived — an event that shows bus drivers do great work even when they are not behind the wheel.

Early morning on November 13, Claudia Mendez was driving her Route 27 bus along Highway 74 near Hemet. As she approached what she thought was a vacant stop, she noticed a woman on the ground having a seizure. Next to the woman was a toddler who was in danger of wandering onto the busy road.

“It was a very dangerous situation,” Claudia said. “The child was two or three years old and she looked scared. I just didn’t want to leave that child unattended and near that road.”

Without hesitation, Claudia stopped her bus, exited the front doors and rushed to the scene. After assisting the woman, Claudia brought the little girl onto the bus and called dispatch to request an ambulance. Later, when paramedics arrived and the child was safely reunited with her mother, Claudia went back to being a bus driver and continued on her route.

“Once paramedics showed up and did their part I felt a whole lot better,” Claudia said. “I just went back to work.”

Claudia’s courageous actions didn’t go unnoticed. Next month, RTA’s Board of Directors will present Claudia with a hero award for her actions that day.

RTA Chairman Art Welch applauded Claudia for a job well done, adding that the incident tested her training, vigilance and attention to detail.

“Claudia’s heroic actions represent an extraordinary commitment to customer service, amazing courage, and uncompromising compassion to help those in need,” Welch said. “This was a team effort that had a very happy ending.”

Such actions aren’t unusual for RTA bus drivers. In fact, drivers do much more than just move people from place to place. Sometimes they help police find and assist people in need. Sometimes those people are senior citizens with dementia. Sometimes they are teenage runaways. Often, drivers like Claudia are guardians on the streets, helping people in need in a spectrum of different ways.

Claudia doesn’t think of herself as a hero.

“This isn’t about being a hero,” she said. “It’s all about caring for other people and being kind to others, even if they are complete strangers. I was just happy to be in the right place at the right time.”

RIVERSIDE, CA — November 28, 2018

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Public Invited To Stuff An RTA Bus For Area Youth

The November 15 event can fill buses with enough donations to last a year

This week, members of the public can help a child in need by stuffing a bus with donations.

The Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) and Operation SafeHouse are teaming up once again for the annual “Stuff the Bus” event this Thursday, which aims to pack two 40-foot buses with donated food, linens, toiletries and other items for area youth in crisis.

Now in its 11th year, the event will take place at several locations across the region from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Donations will be accepted aboard RTA buses at the County Administration Center, 4080 Lemon St. (1 p.m.), Riverside City Hall, 3900 Main St. (2 p.m.), Riverside Metro Auto Group, 8330 Indiana Avenue (3 p.m.), and Riverside Target, 3520 Tyler St. (3:30 - 7 p.m.).

The donated items are distributed to SafeHouse’s emergency shelters and transitional living programs in Riverside and Thousand Palms. Last year’s event produced more than 10,000 donated items, ranging from brooms and brushes to dish soap and shaving cream.

“We are so proud to be part of an effort that gives children the tools they need to improve and enrich their lives,” said RTA Chairman Art Welch. “Everyone is invited to make a contribution, no matter how small, to this very worthy cause.”

SafeHouse Director Fonda McGensy said the donations typically keep inventory shelves stocked for an entire year, benefitting dozens of children. Plus, McGensy added, the bus is a convenient drop-off point. People don’t need to carry donations into a building; they simply drive by and drop off the donations at the bus.

“It’s such a simple way to make a big difference in a child’s life,” McGensy said. “It’s always great to see the community pull together to help area youth. We expect a big turnout this year.”

For information about SafeHouse and Stuff the Bus, please contact Fonda McGensy at (951) 858-3701.

 RIVERSIDE, CA — November 12, 2018

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Driver Gets Fourth Victory At Annual Roadeo

Kyle Jones will represent RTA at international contest


Kyle Jones is RTA’s top cowboy for the fourth time in five years.

The coach operator’s driving skills earned him another victory at Riverside Transit Agency’s (RTA) 2018 Bus Roadeo on October 20 at the Agency’s Hemet facility. The win gave Jones his fourth crown in five years and a chance to represent the Agency at regional and international contests.

Kyle has worked with RTA for 13 years and currently drives routes 1, 19 and CommuterLink Express Route 205. He will represent RTA at the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) International Bus Roadeo next spring in Louisville, Kentucky.

Winning is nothing new to Jones. Two years ago, he took a first-place victory at the APTA International Bus Roadeo, competing against drivers from transit agencies across the United States and Canada and giving RTA its first international victory in 40 years.

During the recent event, Jones and other drivers steered their 30,000-pound, 40-foot machines through a timed serpentine obstacle course of cones, sharp turns and challenging back-ups. Judges observed the performance of each bus operator and noted how well they completed each element on the course.

“This is an especially sweet victory for me,” Jones said. “I wasn’t able to compete last year and I was hungry to get out there and turn things around. This one felt great.”

So why has Jones won so many times?

“It just brings out the competitor in me,” he said. “We all work so hard to be good drivers on the streets and provide excellent customer service, so it’s always nice to put all those things together and show off our skills.”

In the Coach Operator Division, Alaric Hayes and Fred Allen took second and third place, respectively. In the Maintenance Division, Jonathan Arevalo took first place while Moe Zaman and Porfirio Lewis were second- and third-place winners, respectively. In the Administration Division, Nataly Ambriz took first place. The contest also featured several RTA Board members, the fastest of which was Tom Ketcham, who represents the County of Riverside, District I.

“Driving a 40-foot bus is a lot harder than it looks,” said RTA Chairman Art Welch. “It’s amazing to see how well drivers like Kyle can handle challenges on the road while maintaining customer safety and excellent service. We wish Kyle the best of luck as he represents RTA at the highly competitive, international level.”

RTA Rodeo 18 412

Kyle Jones, RTA’s top cowboy, will represent RTA at the international contest.

RIVERSIDE, CA — October 25, 2018

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Riverside Transit Agency

Riverside Offices
1825 Third Street
P.O. Box 59968
Riverside, CA 92517-1968
(951) 565-5000
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Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Closed Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays.

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(951) 565-5002
Hours of Operation: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekends.

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