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Rialto, California
City of Rialto
Flag of Rialto, California
Official seal of Rialto, California
Bridge to Progress
Location of Rialto in San Bernardino County, California
Location of Rialto in San Bernardino County, California
Rialto, California is located in the United States
Rialto, California
Rialto, California
Location in the United States
Country United States
State California
County San Bernardino
Incorporated November 17, 1911
 • Total 24.09 sq mi (62.41 km2)
 • Land 24.09 sq mi (62.41 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)  0.06%
1,257 ft (383 m)
 • Total 99,171
 • Estimate 
 • Rank 70th in California
300th in the United States
 • Density 4,296.58/sq mi (1,658.90/km2)
Time zone UTC−8 (Pacific Standard Time)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP codes
Area code 909
FIPS code 06-60466
GNIS feature IDs 1661306, 2410931

Rialto is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States, 56 miles east of Los Angeles. The city is located strategically near the Cajon Pass, Interstate 15, Interstate 10, State Route 210 and Metrolink (California) routes.

The population was 99,171 as of the 2010 Census. The city population and economic activity have grown exponentially in recent years due to the building of major distribution centers in the region.

It was formerly home to the U.S. Army Rialto Ammunition Storage point which was used during World War II to support operations in the Pacific theater. This area is now a Superfund Site that was scheduled to begin remediation in 2020.

Rialto is home to major regional distribution centers: Staples Inc., which serves stores across the entire West Coast of the United States, Amazon (company), Under Armour, Medline Industries, Niagara Bottling, Monster Energy and Target in the northern region of the city, in the Las Colinas community. One of the United States' largest fireworks companies, Pyro Spectaculars, is also headquartered in Rialto.


Rialto also known as "Bridge City" features a somewhat cooler version of a Mediterranean climate which may be characterized as a Continental Mediterranean climate, which is known for wet, cool to chilly winters with hot, dry summers.

The particularly arid climate during the summer prevents tropospheric clouds from forming, meaning temperatures rise to what is considered Class Orange by NOAA. Rialto gets an average of 16 inches (410 mm) of rain, and maybe hail most of this rainfall precipitates in winter. During winter, Rialto's northern-most neighborhood gets snow, heavily at times as a result of its elevation of about 3,000 feet (910 m) above sea level. However, most of the city is out of snowfall's path.

The seasonal Santa Ana winds are felt particularly strongly in not only Rialto but the greater San Bernardino area as warm and dry air is channeled through nearby Cajon Pass at times during the autumn months. This phenomenon markedly increases the wildfire danger in the foothill, canyon, and mountain communities that the cycle of cold, wet winters and dry summers helps create.


Rialto is located at 34°6′41″N 117°22′57″W / 34.11139°N 117.38250°W / 34.11139; -117.38250 (34.111360, −117.382403).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.4 square miles (58 km2). 22.4 square miles (58 km2) of it is land and 0.06% is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 961
1930 1,642 70.9%
1940 1,770 7.8%
1950 3,156 78.3%
1960 18,567 488.3%
1970 28,370 52.8%
1980 37,862 33.5%
1990 72,388 91.2%
2000 91,873 26.9%
2010 99,171 7.9%
2019 (est.) 103,526 4.4%
U.S. Decennial Census


As of the census of 2000, there were 91,873 people, 24,659 households, and 20,516 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,622.0/km2 (4,200.7/mi2). There were 26,045 housing units at an average density of 459.8/km2 (1,190.9/mi2). The racial makeup of the city was 39.37% White, 22.27% African American, 1.05% Native American, 2.47% Asian, 0.43% Pacific Islander, 29.20% from other races, and 5.21% from two or more races. 51.21% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 24,659 households, out of which 52.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.6% were married couples living together, 18.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.8% were non-families. 13.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.69 and the average family size was 4.01.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 37.7% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 16.4% from 45 to 64, and 6.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 26 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $41,254, and the median income for a family was $42,638. Males had a median income of $34,110 versus $26,640 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,375. 17.4% of the population and 13.8% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 21.7% of those under the age of 18 and 9.7% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.


The 2010 United States Census reported that Rialto had a population of 99,171. The population density was 4,434.1 people per square mile (1,712.0/km2). The racial makeup of Rialto was 43,592 (44.0%) White (12.6% Non-Hispanic White), 16,236 (16.4%) African American, 1,062 (1.1%) Native American, 2,258 (2.3%) Asian, 361 (0.4%) Pacific Islander, 30,993 (31.3%) from other races, and 4,669 (4.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 67,038 persons (67.6%).

The Census reported that 98,724 people (99.5% of the population) lived in households, 254 (0.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 193 (0.2%) were institutionalized.

There were 25,202 households, out of which 14,384 (57.1%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 13,811 (54.8%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 5,175 (20.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, 2,191 (8.7%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,780 (7.1%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 150 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,141 households (12.5%) were made up of individuals, and 1,283 (5.1%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.92. There were 21,177 families (84.0% of all households); the average family size was 4.20.

The population was spread out, with 32,604 people (32.9%) under the age of 18, 12,204 people (12.3%) aged 18 to 24, 26,802 people (27.0%) aged 25 to 44, 20,655 people (20.8%) aged 45 to 64, and 6,906 people (7.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28.3 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.1 males.

There were 27,203 housing units at an average density of 1,216.3 per square mile (469.6/km2), of which 16,294 (64.7%) were owner-occupied, and 8,908 (35.3%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 3.1%; the rental vacancy rate was 9.7%. 64,148 people (64.7% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 34,576 people (34.9%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Rialto had a median household income of $49,428, with 19.2% of the population living below the federal poverty line.

Transit system

The City of Rialto is situated between Interstate 10 and Interstate 210. According to statistics approximately 55% of the working class in the city of Rialto commute more than 10 miles (16 km) to get to work and almost 13% travel to and from Los Angeles and San Bernardino. Average commute times from Rialto are between 33.6 and 37.6 minutes

Rialto is served by the Metrolink regional rail service on the Metrolink San Bernardino Line. The San Bernardino Line takes approximately one hour and twenty minutes to commute each way to Los Angeles and to San Bernardino 10 minutes. The same trip via Interstate 10 or 210 takes between 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on traffic volume and driver speed to Los Angeles and San Bernardino.

Preceding station   Metrolink   Following station
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1907 First Christian Church
1907 First Christian Church, now Rialto Historical Society.

Ancient artifacts discovered by archaeologists suggest that what is now the city of Rialto was settled prior to 1500. Such artifacts, now found at the Rialto Historical Society, indicate that the Serrano Indians lived in the Rialto area between 1500 and 1800 AD. There is no indication as to where these Native Americans went or why.

An adobe building from the early 19th century which was used for many purposes over the years, is the oldest building still standing in Rialto and stands restored in Bud Bender Park, formerly known as "Lilac Park". The City of Rialto leases the house and a small portion of park land to the Rialto Historical Society for $1 annually.

In 1842, the Lugo family was granted the Rancho San Bernardino-a holding of 37,700 acres-which encompassed Rialto. In 1851, the Mountain Family purchased part of the Lugo family's Rancho San Bernardino, and claimed several other portions of the bench which later became known as Rialto. This claim was later amended by the United States Government, permitting them a smaller fraction of the initial purchase.

In 1887 a railroad connector line was built between San Bernardino and Pasadena by the Santa Fe Railroad. Along the line, townsites were located every 2,600 yards (2,400 m) [mile and a half] and by the fall of that year over 25 new towns were being built. This same year the Semitropic Land and Water Company was formed to organize the purchase and selling of real estate, water, and water rights and privileges.

In the fall of 1888, the first school was built and Brooke School District was formed. Records show that up until 1920, the Brooke School District was in continuous operation, except for a very short time in 1888. The prominent Rialto Trapp family bought the first school house in 1921, remodeled the building, and members of the family resided in it until it was destroyed by fire. The Rialto School District (today Rialto Unified School District), was formed in 1891. The staff consisted of two teachers and a principal with separate play areas for the boys and girls.

In 1901 a cemetery was established in the township. It is administered by the City Treasurer.

Pacific Electric depot, Rialto
Historic Pacific Electric depot, now a restaurant.

The Chamber of Commerce was established in 1907. The Chamber incorporated in the spring of 1911. By 1911 the population had grown to 1,500 with 40 businesses and a local newspaper. The election results on October 31 of the same year were 135 for the incorporation of the city and 72 against.

Foothill Boulevard was repaired in 1913 and became U.S. Route 66 a section of the U.S. highway system. In 1914 Los Angeles' Pacific Electric Railway completed its San Bernardino Line through the City of Rialto, with a junction at Riverside Avenue for the Riverside Line. Today the Tracks above First Street are a part of the Union Pacific and the Pacific Electric depot on Riverside Avenue is Cuca's Restaurant.

Boxcars, Rialto, California, Sunset
Boxcars, Rialto, California

A fire in the 1920s swept through and destroyed many of the buildings in the downtown area.

Rialto's population growth had increased to 3,156 by 1950. In 1956 the population soared to 15,359. By 1964 it showed increase to 23,290 and 33,500 in 1978. Rialto is 4 miles (6.4 km) wide and 8.5 miles (13.7 km) long. Rialto's population grew from 80,000 in 1994 to over 91,873 in 2000.

PEG station

Rialto Network is a public, educational, and government access (PEG) cable television station based in Rialto, California. The station was created in 1991 as KRTO (KRiaTO) and in 2012 the station was renamed Rialto Network. Rialto Network is located in the Civic Center and the station is cablecast daily on Time Warner Cable cable system on Channels 3 and 98.214, and on AT&T U-verse PEG cable TV channel 99. It is also webcast.

In the news

School assignment debating Holocaust denial

In April 2014, the Rialto school district came under fire for homework assigned to about 2,000 8th graders a "critical thinking" writing assignment which asked them to take a position whether the Holocaust occurred, and to defend that position citing published arguments, including rebuttals to the selected arguments. Although the school system initially defended the December 2013 assignment, which had already been completed and graded by the time the media published the story, the board of the school district formally apologized for what its chairman called the "horribly inappropriate assignment".

Water contamination

In the late 1990s, local water officials discovered perchlorate contamination in the city's drinking water supply that contained as much as 800 times the recommended limit according to safety recommendations issued in other states.

The contaminant, which has seeped into several of the town's drinking water wells, is the subject of lawsuits by the city of Rialto against 42 parties, including Goodrich Corporation and Black & Decker, the US Department of Defense, and the San Bernardino County. Both companies, most likely under contract with the Department of Defense, operated weapons manufacturing facilities which used massive quantities of rocket fuel.

After many years of negotiations, Goodrich Corporation and Black & Decker still have not agreed to clean toxic waste from the environment in northern Rialto. Studies have shown that perchlorate consumption, at the levels measured in the affected wells, can lead to medical issues. Perchlorate exposure can harm iodine uptake into the thyroid.

With several other wells unusable due to contamination, the drought-prone city teeters on the brink of running out of water.

2005 recall election

On September 13, 2005, the Rialto city council voted to dissolve the Rialto Police Department and replace it with a contract with the San Bernardino County sheriff's department. Soon after the vote, a San Bernardino County court issued an injunction on the change because the vote was done in secret. As a result, two city council members, Ed Scott and Winfred Lee Hansen, were up for recall. In March 2006, city leaders decided to keep the Police Department.

Movie industry

The local Interstate 210 between Alder Ave and Linden Ave has been filmed for movies and TV.

The movie Transformers, 2007 Fox television show, Drive, the freeway scenes in The Hangover, Due Date, and several commercials by UPS and car companies have been shot there.

The television show Fear Factor used a portion of the then uncompleted highway 210 in Rialto for a stunt.

Hall of Fame

City of Rialto's Inaugural Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony took place on November 17, 2007.

2007 inductees:

  • Derek Parra – Speed Skating
  • David Lang (athlete) – Football
  • Ricky Nolasco – Baseball
  • Brandie Burton – Golf

2008 inductees

  • Jeff Conine retired professional baseball player for the Florida Marlins
  • Tom Hoak – Coach, 17 years Rialto Unified School District

2009 inductees

  • Ronnie Lott – NFL Hall of Fame Football Player
  • Al Jury – NFL Official
  • H.R. 1243 111th United States Congress – Introducing and passing the Arnold Palmer Congressional Gold Medal Act
  • Bill Batt – Rialto Girls Softball Coach, 39 years
  • Scott Russell – CIF Champion Baseball Coach
  • John Silva – Rialto Junior All American Football Official, 36 years
  • Roger Birdsall – Little League Baseball Official, 46 years
  • Lisa Marie Varon – Women's Wrestling Champion
  • 2009 Eisenhower Basketball Team – State Champs
  • 1993 Eisenhower Football Team – State Champs


Rialto is served by the Rialto Unified School District. It has a Christian School called Bloomington Christian School for junior high and high school. It also has preschool through 8th grade hosted by Calvary Chapel Rialto. Rialto is also home to a private Catholic school (preschool through 8th grade). St. Catherine of Siena Parish School is located on Sycamore Avenue. The western portion of Rialto is served by Fontana Unified School District while the southern portion of Rialto is served by Colton Joint Unified School District.

Rialto is also served by the San Bernardino Community College District. San Bernardino Valley College is the closest SBCCD campus to the city.

In 1994, the Rialto Western Little League hosted the Southern California Championship for the Major Division, in which the winner went on to participate in the Regional Tournament. The winner was Northridge City Little League who went on to play in the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The Tournament was held at Lilac Park, now known as Bud Bender Park.


The City of Rialto is situated between Interstate 10 and State Route 210. According to statistics approximately 55% of the working class in the city of Rialto commute more than 10 miles (16 km) to get to work and almost 13% travel to and from Los Angeles and San Bernardino. Average commute times from Rialto are between 33.6 and 37.6 minutes.

Rialto is served by the Metrolink regional rail service on the Metrolink San Bernardino Line at Rialto station. The San Bernardino Line takes approximately one hour and twenty minutes to commute each way to Los Angeles and ten minutes to San Bernardino. The same trip by car via the 10 or 210 freeways takes between 45 minutes and 2 hours, depending on traffic.

Notable people

Josh Whitesell on August 7, 2009
Josh Whitesell
  • Alex Acker, professional basketball player (second round pick)
  • Adewale "Wally" Adeyemo, United States Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, graduate of Eisenhower High School
  • Nick Barnett, professional football player for the Green Bay Packers
  • Victor Butler, professional football player for the New Orleans Saints
  • Ryan Clady, professional football player for the Denver Broncos
  • Kenny Clark, professional football player for the Green Bay Packers
  • Jeff Conine, retired professional baseball player for the Florida Marlins
  • George Connor (1906–2001), race car driver
  • Wilson Cruz, actor (My So Called Life, Party of Five)
  • Kirk Fogg, actor, game show host and singer, 1977 graduate of Eisenhower High School.
  • Clarence Gilyard Jr., actor (Matlock and Walker, Texas Ranger)
  • Marvelle Harris, professional basketball player for the Illawarra Hawks
  • J. J. Fad, hip hop group
  • Rodney King, African-American taxi driver whose videotaped beating by police in 1991 was the catalyst for the 1992 Los Angeles Riots
  • Mélange Lavonne, singer
  • Ronnie Lott, Hall of Fame football player, primarily for the San Francisco 49ers, 1981–94
  • Ricky Nolasco, professional baseball player for the Los Angeles Angels
  • David Ray, poet
  • John Singleton, film director, screenwriter, producer
  • Twyla Tharp, choreographer and dancer, raised in Rialto
  • Randy Thomas, songwriter and guitarist for Sweet Comfort Band, co-founder of Allies
  • Lisa Marie Varon, professional wrestler
  • Jesse Wagner, lead vocalist and guitarist of The Aggrolites
  • Josh Whitesell, professional baseball player for the Arizona Diamondbacks

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