DENVER (KDVR) — It won’t cost you a dime to use the bus or train this August through the Regional Transportation District, thanks to a new state law limiting ozone emissions during peak times.
A new study from the American Lung Association looked at air quality across the country, and several Denver metro communities made the list for some of the worst ozone conditions in America.
This comes after the Environmental Protection Agency moved to designate the Front Range corridor from a “serious” to “severe” violator of ozone standards.
To encourage more ride sharing and less pollution during the peak summer season, RTD revealed its Zero Fare for Better Air program. The program is made possible through SB22-180, which creates a grant program that covers up to 80% of the cost to wipe out fares for riders. There will be no fare for riders between August 1 and 31, because of the new program.
According to RTD, households can save nearly $10,000 by taking public transportation and living with one less car. And while Colorado gas stations are starting to creep below $4 per gallon in some pockets of the state, prices remain high compared to the national average.
“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.
The free fare for public transit in August is just one of many approaches the state is taking to reduce ozone pollutants during the summer.