As of July 1, The Bus is offering free rides to general fare passengers on all of its services throughout Merced County for three months.

Currently, Measure V funds free rides for all veterans, seniors, and ADA-eligible passengers and partnerships with Merced College and UC Merced allow all of their students to ride using their Student IDs. The new free-fare program will pay for rides for all general fare passengers who do not already qualify for one of these other programs.

The summer free-fare program will run from through Sept. 30. During that time Measure V passengers and college students should continue to show their respective IDs to ride for free utilizing existing programs, while all general fare passengers can board fare-free. Funding for the program was made available through the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program administered by Caltrans.

“Riding The Bus in the summertime has a lot of benefits that we hope our communities will take advantage of over the next few months,” said Christine Chavez, Transit Manager. “We hope people will use this opportunity to get to know our transit system and services better so that they can use it to ride to school or work in the future. While they are at it, they will also get the added bonus of free wi-fi, air conditioning, and not having to worry about gas prices.”

All bus schedules and hours of operation can be found at or by calling The Bus at (209) 723-3100. Real-time information regarding fixed-route bus locations, services and arrival times can be found at or by downloading ‘The Bus Live’ app on your smart phone for free. Reservations are required to ride on The Micro Bus and can be made by downloading the free smartphone app, going online at, or by calling The Bus’ customer service line at: (209) 725-3813. Masks are still encouraged when riding The Bus.

The Bus is the single public transportation service provider for all of Merced County and is administered by the Transit Joint Powers Authority for Merced County and managed by the Merced County Association of Governments.

Mary-Michal Rawling, Public Affairs Manager, can be reached at (209) 723-3153 x 119 or

The Westside Express