Transit system offers zero fares to help clean air

Grand Valley Transit in Grand Junction will offer free rides from July 28 through Aug. 31 as part of a statewide effort to reduce air pollution.

The effort is made possible through the Zero Fare for Better Air initiative and a state grant program intended to increase the use of transit and decrease ground-level ozone during the summer months when air pollution reaches its highest levels.

Ann Rajewski, executive director of the Colorado Association of Transit Agencies, said the pilot program launched last year included participation from transit systems across the state.

“All agencies that participated increased ridership — ranging anywhere between 2 percent to 59 percent,” Rajewski said. “This year we are expanding the program for the entire summer and are expecting to increase the number of transit agencies participating.”

By one estimate, 85 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from transportation come from day-to-day commutes. Using public transit creates 84 percent less carbon emissions than driving cars.

Transit offers benefits, including savings on gasoline and vehicle maintenance and repairs, reduced traffic and increased productivity for passengers who can read or review emails.

For more information about Grand Valley Transit — including routes, schedules and the Zero Fare for Better Air initiative —visit