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Free Ride Day’ Returns To San Diego Public Transit Wednesday

An advertisement for Free Ride Day on Oct. 2 covers an MTS bus, Sept. 30, 2019.

Photo by Roland Lizarondo

Above: An advertisement for Free Ride Day on Oct. 2 covers an MTS bus, Sept. 30, 2019.

Patrons of San Diego's public transit system will get a free ride Wednesday as part of an effort to promote transit as a cleaner alternative to cars.

During "Free Ride Day" on Oct. 2, passengers won't have to pay for rides on all regular bus routes, plus the trolley, COASTER and SPRINTER rail lines. San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, who is also a member of the Metropolitan Transit System board of directors, said last year's event was a success.

Listen to this story by Andrew Bowen.

"Last year on Free Ride Day over 50,000 folks took trips on transit that had not been taken the day before, which tells us that there is a pent up demand," Fletcher said at a press conference Monday. "If we just raise awareness of the opportunities and the options, folks get out and have this experience."

RELATED: Ridership Rebounding, Public Transit In San Diego Is Having A Moment

Transportation makes up the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in California, and the success of the state's ambitious goals on climate change depends largely on more people choosing transit over driving. San Diego City Council President Georgette Gomez noted that more people riding public transit would reduce smog in San Diego, which has some of the worst air quality in the nation.

"We want to make sure that we're moving more people around but also doing it in a way that we're being conscious of our air quality," she said.

Last week Gomez, who is currently running in California's 53rd Congressional District, submitted her letter of resignation as the chair of the MTS board. Board members are scheduled to select her replacement at their next meeting Oct. 10.

Reported by Andrew Bowen , Video by Roland Lizarondo

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