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Modesto Area Express Hits Record Ridership
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Modesto Area Express (MAX) announced that 96,000 more rides were taken onboard its fixed-route service during its “Free Rides All July” campaign in July 2019 than in the same month in 2018. The free rides promotion was held by the four transit providers in Stanislaus County – Ceres Area Transit (CAT), Modesto Area Express (MAX), Stanislaus County Regional Transit (StaRT), and Turlock Transit).

Funding for the free ride promotion was made possible through a grant from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) under the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program (LCTOP). LCTOP was created to provide operating and capital assistance for transit agencies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve mobility, with a priority on serving disadvantaged communities.

July 2019 ridership on MAX fixed routes increased by 62 percent over the previous year for a total of 251,173 rides (an average of 3,114 more rides per day than in July 2018). MAX’s monthly ridership has not surpassed 250,000 rides since October 2015.

MAX to BART July 2019 ridership increased by 37 percent, with 1,012 more rides than the same month the previous year. Finally, MAX to ACE ridership increased by 19 percent with 322 more rides in July 2019 than in July 2018.

“The Free Rides All July campaign generated a wonderful sense of excitement and engagement about public transportation in the Modesto community,” said Ted Brandvold, Modesto’s mayor. “We were excited to see so many first-time riders take advantage of local transit.”

In the past two years, August ridership on MAX has typically been higher than July ridership, likely due to the start of the school year.

“It will be interesting to see if riders who used MAX free last month will continue to take advantage of our local transit system to help reduce traffic and pollution in our city,” said Brandvold.

MAX was formed in 1973 and is the primary public transportation provider for the Modesto Urbanized Area. MAX serves 20 routes, operates seven days a week, and transports approximately 2,800,000 passengers annually with its fixed-route buses. For more information, visit or call 209-521-1274.