Free rides on Fountain public transport to reduce air pollution

Free rides on Fountain public transport to reduce air pollution

Free rides on Fountain public transport to reduce air pollution

(FOUNTAIN, Colo.) — Beginning Monday, July 1, Fountain Municipal Transit will offer free rides throughout July and August.

As part of the statewide Zero Fare For Better Air, We’ll Get You There initiative, these free rides are designed to reduce ground-level ozone by increasing the use of public transportation. Fountain community members are encouraged to help keep Colorado’s air clean during the summer months when pollution is at its highest.

This year, the program will run for two months and will involve 13 communities across Colorado.

“The pilot program that launched in August 2022 was a huge success,” said Ann Rajewski, executive director of the Colorado Association of Transit Agencies (CASTA). “Transit systems from across the state participated, from those serving the largest cities, like RTD in Denver, to regional rural systems like SMART in San Miguel County (Telluride region). Mid-sized cities across Colorado, like Greeley, Pueblo, and Colorado Springs, participated in the program. Smaller communities in mountain towns, the Eastern Plains, and the Western Slope also took advantage of this incredible opportunity. All participating agencies increased ridership, ranging from 2% to 59%.”

In 2023, the Zero Fare program saw 16 communities offer free fares to riders during the months of June through August. The program also provided funding for a marketing campaign promoting the initiative statewide. These efforts helped drive a 2% to 216% increase in ridership in participating communities.

Using public transport not only reduces emissions, but also has other benefits such as:

  • Gas savings
    • If you drive 10,000 miles in a year, the total cost is about $900 in routine maintenance and repairs. $1,800 if you drive 20,000 miles.
  • Reduction of traffic
  • Reduced stress and increased safety
    • Public transportation is ten times safer per mile than traveling by car.
  • Increased productivity
  • Cost savings
  • Improving air quality
    • Using public transportation generates 84% ​​fewer carbon emissions than driving a car, equivalent to 63 million metric tons per year.

Passengers who use public transport can experience environmental, financial, lifestyle and community changes, while improving air quality.