San Diegans countywide can celebrate California Clean Air Day by riding transit on Wednesday, October 4, with all buses, trolleys, the COASTER, and SPRINTER free to ride all day.  

The event is the region’s sixth edition of Free Ride Day, and the Metropolitan Transit System, North County Transit District, and the San Diego Association of Governments partnered up to provide free transportation.

“Conserving our planet is a priority for all of us. Initiatives like Free Ride Day provide an opportunity for residents to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainability by riding clean transportation options,” said Stephen Whitburn, MTS Board Chair and San Diego City Councilman. “And with record-high gas prices, taking transit not only helps the environment, it can help your wallet too.”

Riders can use an MTS cost calculator – — to determine how much they could theoretically save by taking public transit.  

“We live in a state with some of the worst air pollution in the country. Take a break from traffic and pollution — instead, take action and experience a day of emissions-free travel on a bus or train for free,” said NCTD Board Member and Vista Councilwoman Corinna Contreras. “Riding the COASTER or SPRINTER train, or BREEZE bus decreases greenhouse gas emissions and reduces air pollutants in the San Diego region. A benefit for us all.”

MTS will also hold pop-up outreach events at major transit centers from 6 to 8 a.m. and in the afternoon from 4 to 6 p.m. to thank riders for choosing transit. 

Riders can stop by for transit information and promotional items and enter to win a Free Ride Day giveaway. “I encourage everyone to take the pledge for Clean Air Day,” said San Diego County Supervisor and SANDAG Chairwoman Nora Vargas. “Whether you ride transit, walk, bike, or carpool on Wednesday, together, we can make a huge impact to reduce gas emissions and improve air quality for everyone.”

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1 Comment

  1. As a rider of the MTS Trolley, I can’t help but point out that every day is a “free ride” day for the homeless. Although I have had to open up the Pronto app on my phone on several occasions (not very often) for transit police to validate my fare, the same officers have off-the-record admitted to me what I already know–the homeless will not be ousted despite not paying a fare. Many of them bring large carts and luggage inside the cars with them, making crowded conditions much worse. Many of them have a body odor that is beyond description and tolerance, even for a seasoned healthcare worker like myself. Some of them are also deranged and downright scary. Recently while riding home at peak time from La Jolla to Chula Vista, a malodorous and aggressive, apparently mentally ill passenger was fixated on me and was waving his hands across my face. I had to resort to putting my backpack-on-wheels in my lap and raising the telescopic pull handle to create a physical barrier. Everyone around me played see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil but who could blame them after the courageous Marine vet on the NYC subway ended up being criminally charged for stepping up to defend hapless passengers being harassed and threatened by a violent homeless passenger. The subway is not a safe option for a small woman traveling sola like me, nor is it a pleasant one-hour, slow-ride with the overcrowding and the unbearable stench of non-paying homeless passengers. I’m sorry but somebody has to speak the truth. I’d be willing to stay off the road and endure a much longer commute if the trolley were safer and the horrid odors removed. If someone boarded a plane smelling like that, I feel quite sure the airline would have to take action or issue ticket refunds.

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