SBCTA Launches Campaign to Promote Public Transit by Offering Free Rides in San Bernardino’s Mountain and Desert Communities

May 24, 2018

LCTOP Picture
San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) in partnership with Victor Valley Transit Authority (VVTA), Mountain Transit, Morongo Basin Transit Authority (MBTA) and Needles Area Transit has recently launched a campaign to offer travelers the chance to try transit for free. The campaign is sponsored by SBCTA with grant funding from the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program (LCTOP). The objective is to educate more people about what transit has to offer them and give them the opportunity to experience it risk free. By allowing riders unlimited rides for any five days, over a 4 week period, the campaign will help people get in the habit of using transit at least on an occasional basis.
The theme of the campaign is “Set Yourself Free” – free to save money, to avoid parking hassles, or to simply get where they need to go without having to wait for a ride. The theme will be paired with images of individuals riding the bus – illustrating the diversity of people that use and benefit from transit.
SBCTA Project Manager, Nydia Gonzalez, notes that “By riding transit, county residents can free themselves from the costs and stresses of driving. As a result, we hope they will take public transit not only during the time of this promotional offer, but also consider it as another form of commuting in the long term.”
In the interest of attracting new riders to transit, every campaign element will include both a free ride offer and instructions on how to use Google Maps for easy transit trip planning. The campaign will run through early fall and will be tailored to the needs of each of the service communities. Campaign elements will include:

  • Enhancements to transit information tools (including website, passenger guides and transit displays) to make it easier for people to learn about the transit services.
  • Large post cards mailed to homes along transit routes with a coupon that allows the resident to ride free for any five days over a 4 week period.
  • Newspaper ads in local newspapers and on news websites that make the same free ride offer.
  • Poster campaigns at high traffic locations in all communities.
  • Targeted programs with colleges (Victor Valley College and Copper Mountain College) and junior high/ high schools in the desert communities and with the tourism industry in the mountain communities.
  • An outdoor campaign in the Victor Valley using bus sides and bus shelters to promote the system’s passenger enhancements including trip planning, real-time information and WiFi on buses.

For more information about the campaign or to see samples of the campaign materials, contact Nydia Gonzalez at

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