Spare the Air/Free Transit Program Digs Deep to Back Air Quality Talk

This article looks at the “Spare the Air/Free Transit” campaign promoted in the San Francisco Bay Area by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). Along with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the 26 individual transit operators, the MTC established the program in 2004. Two Spare the Air days during the 2004 smog season resulted in 40,000 riders receiving free morning commutes on Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) District trains and WHEELS buses operated by the Livermore-Amador Valley Transit Authority. The program had three specific goals: 1) increase public awareness; encourage Bay Area residents to drive less and use public transit more; and, 3) reduce vehicular emissions in order to avoid exceeding the national eight hour ozone standard. Since then, the program has been expanded, with the number of Spare the Air days to be observed dependent on forecasts of ground level ozone levels and funding availability. More than $2 million a day is spend to provide the Spare the Air Day free rides, and funding is clearing the biggest challenge facing the program. The article relates that administrators are even looking at soliciting financial assistance for the program from the private sector.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: pp 60-61
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01050354
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: UC Berkeley Transportation Library
  • Files: BTRIS, TRIS
  • Created Date: May 18 2007 12:48PM