Transit Ridership Climbs 10 Percent on Free Ride Day

More than 280,000 trips were made on Wednesday, October 4

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San Diego – Transit ridership on the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) reached pre-pandemic levels on the agency’s Free Ride Day event last week. Preliminary ridership numbers show more than 280,000 trips were made on MTS buses and Trolleys Wednesday, October 4, the highest ridership since March 2020, and a 10.4% increase in ridership compared to the previous week’s daily average.

MTS buses logged nearly 136,000 trips (135,885), with Trolley ridership estimated to be just over 145,000 trips (145,321). The 281,206 trips mark a 5.7% increase over the 2022 Free Ride Day event.

“Whether people chose transit to reduce their carbon footprint or to reduce their bill at the gas pump, the ridership from this year’s Free Ride Day serves as a testament to the value of transit in our community,” said Stephen Whitburn, MTS Board Chair and City of San Diego Councilmember, District 3. “As an agency, we will continue to invest in and improve upon our service so that we can continue to welcome new riders onboard.”

Free Ride Day took place as gas prices across the region remain high, at nearly $6 a gallon in San Diego. The American Public Transportation Association also released a report  last month showing San Diegans can save an average of $1,244 a month, almost $15,000 annually, by switching from driving to taking transit. People who want to see how much they can save can use the MTS Commute Cost Calculator at 

For additional service information, or to see how much switching from driving to transit could save, visit

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. MTS is a leader in advancing initiatives to create a greener, cleaner and better-connected transit system in San Diego County. 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 served more than 57 million transit trips. For service schedule updates, news, alerts and more information on how you can use public transportation, go to


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