San Diego, CA – Free Ride Day on countywide public transportation is back! On Wednesday, Oct. 2, all rides will be free on San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) and North County Transit District (NCTD) services, including the Trolley, COASTER, SPRINTER and fixed-route buses. The day will also include significant discounts from Lyft and Bird for first and last-mile solutions.
This year, Free Ride Day is being held on California’s Clean Air Day, where residents across the state of California will take steps to reduce emissions and improve air quality.
"Free Ride Day is an opportunity for everyone to explore San Diego via transit,” said Georgette Gómez, City of San Diego Council President and Chair of the MTS Board of Directors. “On Free Ride Day, San Diegans have an opportunity to make a commitment to fight climate change by choosing transit to get to work, school or wherever they want to go.”
In the first-ever Free Ride Day last year, MTS saw more than 53,000 extra trips taken during the service day on buses and Trolleys. This year, MTS and NCTD hope to increase participation by 10%.
“We’re fortunate in our region to have public transit systems that access so much of the County,” said Tony Kranz, NCTD Board Chair and Encinitas Councilmember. “By offering free rides on October 2, we want people to leave their cars at home that day and try transit. It’s important for our community and for our air quality that we embrace transit and see how it can fit into our daily commute.”
Locally, Free Ride Day is also being supported by the SANDAG iCommute Rideshare Week, cities, the County of San Diego and major employers throughout the region.
“We’re excited to partner again with MTS and NCTD to promote Free Ride Day as part of Rideshare Week, an annual event celebrating the many benefits of commute alternatives,” said SANDAG Vice Chair and Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear. “Commuters are encouraged to share the ride all week and take transit, carpool, or vanpool to work instead of driving alone to help reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.”
MTS and NCTD will have events at many transit stations across the county that day to give away prizes and provide customer support to those using transit for the first time. People who enter the Free Ride Day Giveaway (in-person at MTS pop-ups or on social media using the hashtag #sdfreerideday19) can win the grand prize – free transit for a year! Additional prizes include a one-night stay at the new Sycuan Casino Resort, SDSU football tickets, MTS Day Passes and more.
The public will also have access to discounts from the following local partners:
About Free Ride Day
Free Ride Day will be valid on all MTS and NCTD fixed-routes 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 Compass Card or valid fare for either system. MTS and NCTD services will operate on a normal weekday schedule. To plan a trip on transit, just go to the MTS or NCTD website and enter your starting and end points to view a series of travel options.
About the Partners
MTS operates 95 bus routes and three Trolley lines on 53 miles of double-tracked railway. Every weekday more than 300,000 passenger trips are taken on MTS bus and Trolley services in 10 cities and the county. In FY 2019, MTS served approximately 86 million riders. For more information on how you can use public transportation and save money, go to www.sdmts.com.
The North County Transit District is a public transportation agency providing over 10 million passenger trips annually throughout North San Diego County and into downtown San Diego. 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: GoNCTD.com.
Powered by SANDAG and in cooperation with the 511 transportation information service, iCommute is the Transportation Demand Management (TDM) program for the San Diego region. iCommute encourages use of transportation alternatives to help reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. To learn more, visit iCommuteSD.com.