EMBARK Offers Free Bus Rides for Ozone Alert Season through September 19
OKLAHOMA CITY – The arrival of summer in central Oklahoma means ozone alert season is here. Hot temperatures, calm winds and sunshine with no cloud cover are the ingredients for an ozone alert day. As Oklahoma enters ozone alert season, citizens are asked to do their part to keep pollution down.
“Combining errands into one trip helps reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. When you start your car after it has been sitting for more than an hour, it pollutes up to five times more than when the engine is warm,” Curt Goeller, environmental program specialist, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality’s air quality division said.
To reduce ozone and improve air quality, people can get out of single-passenger cars and into carpools and public transportation.
Oklahoma City’s bus system, EMBARK, will offer free rides on the third Friday of each month during ozone alert season, May through September. Free rides are available any time on June 20, July 18, August 15 or September 19 on any regular EMBARK route in the greater Oklahoma City metropolitan area.
The third Friday free program was piloted by EMBARK in summer 2011 and resulted in an 11 percent increase in ridership compared to the previous year, generating 4,660 more trips for the same period of June through September. The 2013 program saw a 12 percent increase over 2011, generating 5,315 more trips for the same period.
Each EMBARK bus has the potential to take 35 cars off the road, greatly reducing carbon dioxide emissions. According to the American Public Transportation Association, for every mile traveled on public transit, riders will produce 95 percent less carbon dioxide than driving.
“People who ride the bus help to protect our air quality. They also get health benefits such as more exercise through walking or riding bikes to the bus stop and less stress from driving and sitting in traffic,” said Michael Scroggins, public information manager with EMBARK. “Trying transit is easier now than ever before due to recent service improvements such as 30-minute service levels on most routes and the creation of high frequency service corridors.
Also new this season, is EMBARK’s next-bus mobile tool that can help eliminate the guesswork of when the bus is coming. Instructions on how to use the tool are available in any of the individual route schedules or online at embarkok.com.
To learn more about EMBARK and view bus schedules and routes, visit www.embarkok.com or call (405) 235-RIDE (7433) for personal assistance from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. To learn more about carpooling or to be matched with someone in your area, visit www.getaroundok.com.
Media Contact: Michael Scroggins | 405.297.2107 | email