DENVER (KDVR) — As part of Colorado’s effort to reduce ozone levels during the hottest months, a new bill would incentivize drivers to ditch their cars and opt-in to free public transportation.
It comes at a time when the Denver metro is considered one of the worst metropolitan areas for ozone pollution in the country, and the Environmental Protection Agency moved to raise the designation of the Front Range corridor from a “serious” to “severe” violator of ozone standards.
Senate Bill 180 passed the state Senate on Wednesday. It would create a pilot program that would allow the Regional Transportation District to provide free transit services for at least 30 days during the summer months. The bill would create a grant program to offset up to 80% of costs for the free services offered.
The goal is to reduce the number of cars on the road during ozone season, which lasts from June 1 to Aug. 31. It’s one of many tactics the state is looking at to reduce levels following the latest EPA reclassification.
“We’re looking in the short-term to decrease some of those ozone precursors like investments in electric school buses, grant programs to reduce emission from diesel trucks, free transit during ozone season and incentivizing the replacement of some of these older, dirtier, more polluting vehicles on the road,” said CDPHE Director of Air Pollution Control Division Michael Ogletree during an interview on FOX31 NOW.