(Press release) Unitrans did its part to “Spare the Air” 15 days in a row, waiving fares for all riders July 27-Aug. 10, but, unfortunately, can no longer spare the expense and will discontinue the free-ride program from Monday, Aug. 27, through the end of the year.
“With the high number of wildfires this year, Davis and the surrounding area experienced an unprecedented number of Spare the Air days, more than Unitrans anticipated in its annual budget,” said Jeff Flynn, general manager of the UC Davis and city transit system, which is operated by the Associated Students of UC Davis.
Unitrans is one of the last transit systems in the region to provide free rides on Spare the Air days. Free rides are meant to encourage people to leave their cars at home on days when the Air Quality Index hits the level of “unhealthy.”
“The program, though, has not resulted in higher transit usage,” Flynn said. Nevertheless, he said, Unitrans will bring back free rides on Spare the Air days for a limited amount of days in 2019 with the hope that more people will take advantage. “With fewer cars on the road, we’ll have a lessening of greenhouse gas emissions,” he said. “Not only that, but most of our buses run on natural gas, which burns cleaner than diesel.”