By Margaret Jackson / NewsBreak Denver
(Denver, Colo.) The Regional Transportation District is waiving fares as part of a statewide initiative to reduce ground-level ozone by increasing public transit use.
Throughout August, RTD will provide all its services — bus, rail, paratransit and microtransit — free to the public through its Zero Fare for Better Air program.
“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,” RTD General Manager and CEO Debra Johnson said.
“It’s widely known that new habits can be formed within weeks,” Johnson continued. “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.”
Zero Fare for Better Air, which takes place during Colorado’s highest ozone month, is supported through a grant program created by Senate Bill 22-180 in partnership with the Colorado Energy Office.
Air pollution in Denver and Fort Collins were named among the most polluted cities in the April 2022 State of the Air report released by the American Lung Association.
Denver experienced more unhealthy days of high ozone in this year’s report compared to the 2021 report, ranking seventh on the list — up from eighth the previous year.
Fort Collins’s ranking went from 50th in last year’s report to 30th in this year's report. Before 2016, Fort Collins ranked among the nation’s cleanest cities.
For the first time since 2016, every county in the Denver region earned a failing grade.