During the month of August, Durango Transit participated in the statewide Zero Fare for Better Air initiative, which was a program to encourage ridership on Colorado’s public transit systems in an effort to reduce ground-level ozone. Approximately 85% of the greenhouse gas emissions that come from transportation are due to day-to-day commutes. By leaving the car at home, a person can save up to 20 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions every day.
Durango Transit provided 57,189 free rides during the month of August, compared to the 36,747 rides provided in August 2021. This is a 36% increase in ridership, made possible through funding from Colorado Senate Bill 22-180. While many regular transit riders were able to take advantage of zero fare, the program also attracted new riders and visitors to Durango.
“Your free service got me all around your beautiful historic town,” said Troy Cook, who was visiting Durango for one week. “I caught the bus daily. [Free fare] is so kind and nurturing to the people.”
Amor Bonner, a regular Durango Transit rider, said “Free fare during the month of August really helped me to get to and from work, as well as other places like the gym.”
The statewide initiative was only funded for the month of August and fare collection resumed on September 1. Durango Transit has a number of affordable fare and pass options available to encourage people to continue to take advantage of the convenience, safety, and other benefits of public transit.
Other benefits to taking transit include:
- Cost savings
Taking the bus saves on car expenses including maintenance, parking, and fuel, which add up quickly. A household can save nearly $10,000 by taking public transportation and living with one less car.
- Gas savings
With gas hovering around $5 per gallon, switching to public transit frees up additional funds in customers’ everyday budgets. In addition, public transportation saves the United States an estimated 6 billion gallons of gas each year!
- Reduction in traffic
Taking public transit keeps cars off the road, limiting traffic congestion, air pollution, and ground-level ozone.
- Reduction in stress
Taking public transit removes the stress and anxiety of battling everyday traffic.
- Time savings
While taking public transit, customers can catch up on reading, emails, podcasts, or just sit back and relax.
- Improved air quality
Transportation is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change. Using public transit creates 84% less carbon emissions than driving a car. That is a savings of 63 million metric tons annually.
Passengers can download the free TransLoc app to purchase affordable single rides or daily, weekly, and monthly passes. Passes are also available for purchase at the Durango Transit Center. For more information, visit DurangoTransit.com.