Free Ride Day is Back! Regional Transit Agencies Offer an Easy Chance for Residents to Shake up Their Commute

People are encouraged to ride transit on Wednesday, October 4 in Celebration of California Clean Air Day

San Diego – The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) and the North County Transit District (NCTD) are excited to welcome riders onboard for another Free Ride Day. On Wednesday, October 4, all rides will be free on MTS and NCTD fixed-route services, including the Trolley, buses, COASTER and SPRINTER. Free Ride Day is being held in conjunction with the State of California’s Clean Air Day, where residents across California will take steps to reduce emissions and improve air quality.

“Free Ride Day is a great opportunity for everyday transit riders and those that may not always ride transit, to choose to take the Trolley or bus and experience how easy and convenient it really is,” said Stephen Whitburn, MTS Board Chair and City of San Diego Councilmember, District 3. “ Hosting Free Ride Day on California Clean Air Day reinforces MTS’ commitment to providing sustainable solutions to combat climate change and carbon emissions in San Diego.”

MTS and NCTD have held an annual Free Ride Day since 2018, with the exception of 2021 when the agencies held a free ride month. On each Free Ride Day, transit ridership has seen significant increases, as much as 30%.

“Our robust public transit system in the County makes it easy to give up your car, even for a few trips,” said Jewel Edson, NCTD Board Chair and City Solana Beach Councilmember.  “By offering free rides on October 4, people will not only save money but also help to clean the air. Be part of the movement to improve our air quality – individual changes combined make a collective difference.”

Taking transit in lieu of driving can provide many benefits, including:

  • Cost savings: With gas prices over $5 in San Diego County, riders are encouraged to try the commute cost calculator to see how they can save by choosing transit. 
  • Reducing air pollution: People who will participate in Free Ride Day are encouraged to take the clean air pledge and demonstrate the collective commitment to cleaner air.

For more information about Free Ride Day activities, visit or   

About Free Ride Day

Free Ride Day will be valid on all MTS and NCTD fixed-route services including buses, the Trolley, SPRINTER and COASTER (Amtrak Rail 2 Rail, MTS Access and NCTD LIFT paratransit are not part of this promotion). Passengers will not need a PRONTO card or valid fare for either system. MTS and NCTD services will operate on a normal weekday schedule. To plan a trip on transit, visit the MTS or NCTD website and use the Trip Planner tool.

About MTS

The Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) operates more than 100 bus routes and three Trolley lines in 10 cities and unincorporated areas of San Diego County. MTS is a leader in advancing initiatives to create a greener, cleaner and better-connected transit system in San Diego. Each weekday more than 220,000 passenger trips are taken throughout the MTS system taking people to work, school, health appointments and other essential trips. In FY 2022, MTS made more than 57 million transit trips. For service schedule updates, news, alerts and more information on how you can use public transportation, go to

About NCTD

The North County Transit District is a public transportation agency providing trips throughout North San Diego County and into downtown San Diego. NCTD is designated as a rail common carrier by the Surface Transportation Board based on the movement of interstate commerce on the tracks and the Railroad of Record by the Federal Railroad Administration responsible for safety over the entire San Diego portion of the LOSSAN corridor. NCTD’s system includes BREEZE buses (with FLEX service), COASTER commuter trains, SPRINTER hybrid rail trains, and LIFT paratransit service. NCTD’s mission is to deliver safe, convenient, reliable, and user-friendly public transportation services. For more information visit:


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