Final free rides for Spare the Air Day

June 19, 2008 11:29:26 AM PDT
You may want to ride a train, bus or ferry to work because this is the only day transit will be free this year. It marks a dramatic shift in strategy for Bay Area air quality officials.

On a beautiful morning, Roy Halleybone wasn't going to pass up a free ferry ride.

"Enjoying the spare the air day and taking a ferry ride to Sausalito," said Halleybone

His trip will be a quick one. Free rides end on the ferries, Caltrain, BART and ACE trains only last until noon.

I am going to see Sausalito real quick turn around and come back," said Halleybone.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District scheduled today as the only free transit Spare the Air Day of the season. Normally there are several, but federal funding has run out and people are taking public transportation regardless if it's free or not.

"Gas prices are really part of what's pushing people to public transportation. But certainly the publicity and the free rides that were generated through the program has helped increase ridership as well," said Lisa Fasano from Bay Area Air Quality District.

The Air District wants people to treat everyday as a Spare the Air Day.

"Reducing the use of gas powered lawn mower equipment, reducing energy use, riding bikes walking all of these things will make a big difference to improve air quality throughout the season," said Fasano.

Marguerite Axworthy recently switched from her car to the bus for her commute from San Leandro to San Francisco.

"I take the bus, I walk to the bus I love it," said Axworthy.

If gas prices and helping the environment aren't enough to make you switch to public transit, there is another incentive. The Bay Area was recently ranked the sixth worst place in the county for traffic congestion.


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