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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.

1977-1978Awarded Section 147 Research & Development Grant.
1980Rides Expanded Into Gallatin & Saline County Receiving Section 18 Funding.
1989Rides Expanded Its Services To include White County.
1990Rides Formed The First Rural Mass Transit District In Illinois, RMTD.
1994Rides begins Providing A Limited Service In Hamilton County.
1997Wayne & Hamilton Counties Joined The District.
1998Edwards & Wabash Counties Joined The District.
2000Rides 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
2001August: Shawnee Queen River Taxi began operations as part of the Rides Mass Transit District.
2002September: RMTD’s 1st CEO retires after 25 years
October: Bill Jung assumes CEO position.
October: RMTD Administration Offices relocate to Harrisburg, Illinois.
2005May: 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.
2005Lawrence & Richland Counties Joined The District
2006Crawford County Joined The District
2007Jasper County Joined The District
2007Williamson County Joined The District
2009Cumberland County Joined The District
2011Shawnee Queen River Taxi is no longer available
2013Clark & Edgar Counties Joined the District
20192019  Bill Jung retires as RMTD CEO and Adam Lach assumes CEO position.

RMTD begins operating SIU Saluki Express service in Carbondale.
2022RMTD moves into new administration office located at 1304 Frank Leberman Drive- Harrisburg