DENVER (KDVR) – Throughout the month of August, the Regional Transportation District is offering free rides on all trains, buses, Access-a-Rides, and FlexRides.

Officials said that its “Zero Fare for Better Air” initiative is a statewide effort that aims to reduce pollution. It plans to achieve this by encouraging Colorado residents to use public transportation instead of individual cars, which would reduce greenhouse gases.

This initiative takes place during Colorado’s highest ozone month and is paid for by a grant program created by Colorado Senate Bill 22-180 in partnership with the Colorado Energy Office.

“Providing a full month of zero-fare is a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate the value transit brings to the communities served and encourage the public to see firsthand how we make lives better through connections,” General Manager and CEO Debra A. Johnson said. “It’s widely known that new habits can be formed within weeks. This month will enable anyone unfamiliar with the RTD system to hop onboard, give the service a try and evaluate whether to modify their travel behavior.”

RTD officials said they are operating under the current service plan during this time but the department is ready to make changes to the routes and trains if demand becomes unusually high.

RTD’s Transit Police division said that it will also be using all available resources to support the plan.

Since this is a statewide initiative, RTD has spoken with municipalities and local police agencies within the eight counties it serves, with an expectation that every entity supports this effort and provides resources to ensure its success.