Kerry Trotter, 20, was on probation for a drug offense and had been investigated in a previous sexual assault case.
"The good news is we have a predator with a long criminal history including sexual assault in custody," Sgt. Dan Scott said. "We want to thank the public for getting this predator off the streets."
Trotter was picked up Friday after detectives received a tip they said was generated by media coverage of the incident. Scott said detectives contacted Trotter and found evidence they said tied him to the case.
Trotter was in jail Saturday on $1 million bail, the Los Angeles Times said.
The incident involved an 18-year-old disabled woman who was allegedly raped while riding on a bus in Culver City without interference from the driver or other passengers, the Times said.
Scott said the woman told investigators she was in shock and didn't know how to respond to the assault. He said it "seemed reasonable" the alleged attack could take place in the rear of the bus without anyone noticing what was going on.
"The suspect had his back to the front of the bus," Scott said. "People generally think of a rape as some kind of attack where someone's thrown down. It's not always the case."