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Nearly 30 years after a major bus line stopped providing public transportation for the counties of Pope and Hardin, The Golden Circle Senior Citizen Center was awarded a two year demonstration program to provide transportation in the area. In April of 1977, Rides (then standing for Rural Initiative Development of Effective Services) began operations with four, 15-passenger vans to primarily bring people to nutrition centers and deliver meals to the homebound.

Since then, Rides Mass Transit District (RMTD) has expanded with routes connecting eighteen southeastern Illinois counties, and continues to proudly serve the southern Illinois area with clean, comfortable, convenient, and cost effective public transportation.

1977-1978 Awarded Section 147 Research & Development Grant.
1980 Rides Expanded Into Gallatin & Saline County Receiving Section 18 Funding.
1989 Rides Expanded Its Services To include White County.
1990 Rides Formed The First Rural Mass Transit District In Illinois, RMTD.
1994 Rides begins Providing A Limited Service In Hamilton County.
1997 Wayne & Hamilton Counties Joined The District.
1998 Edwards & Wabash Counties Joined The District.
2000 Rides Mass Transit District was presented the Transit System of the Year Award from the CTAA, Community Transportation Association of America in Fort Lauderdale, FL during EXPO 2000
2001 August: Shawnee Queen River Taxi began operations as part of the Rides Mass Transit District.
2002 September: RMTD’s 1st CEO retires after 25 years
October: Bill Jung assumes CEO position.
October: RMTD Administration Offices relocate to Harrisburg, Illinois.
2005 May: Rides Mass Transit District is 1 of 5 national transportation systems to win the United We Ride Leadership Award in St Louis, MO at the Community Transportation Association of America’s Expo 2005.
2005 Lawrence & Richland Counties Joined The District
2006 Crawford County Joined The District
2007 Jasper County Joined The District
2007 Williamson County Joined The District
2009 Cumberland County Joined The District
2011 Shawnee Queen River Taxi is no longer available
2013 Clark & Edgar Counties Joined the District

2019  Bill Jung retires as RMTD CEO and Adam Lach assumes CEO position.
RMTD begins operating SIU Saluki Express service in Carbondale.