There Is Such a Thing as a Free Ride

San Francisco Bay Area commuters can get a free ride on June 19 -- the only day this year that the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission will provide them on 30 of the region's transit systems.

Transit will be free all day on Bay Area bus and light-rail systems, and until noon on BART, Caltrain, Altamont Commuter Express, and Amtrak Capitol Corridor trains, and on the Golden Gate, Alameda-Oakland, Alameda-Harbor Bay and Vallejo Baylink ferries. This marks Capitol Corridor's first year of participation in the Bay Area's free transit promotion. (Commuters need to visit www.511.org, click on "Transit" and type in their starting location and destination.

The free Bay Area transit coincides with the third annual "Dump the Pump" day, a national promotion sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association to encourage the use of transit.

The goal of the free transit day is to have residents try transit and then stick with it. Cars are the Bay Area's No. 1 source of both air pollution and greenhouse gases, and taking transit is one of the everyday choices residents can make to improve the environment. Each gallon of gas saved by taking transit eliminates the emission of 20 pounds of carbon dioxide.

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