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Transit Agencies Mark California Clean Air Day with Free Rides on Wednesday


A new NCTD COASTER train. Courtesy of the agency

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System and North County Transit District will mark California Clean Air Day with free rides Wednesday on all fixed routes.

Buses, trolleys and trains throughout the region can be boarded without a PRONTO card or other valid fare.

Both MTS and NCTD services will operate on a normal weekday schedule during the free day.

“As we see MTS ridership rebound following the pandemic, we hope Free Ride Day is an opportunity for more people to give transit a try,” said Nathan Fletcher, MTS board chair and chair of the county Board of Supervisors.

“Not only do we want riders to see how transit can benefit them personally, but on Free Ride Day, San Diegans have the opportunity to join the clean air movement across the state of California,” Fletcher added. “Taking transit is one of the most impactful ways individuals can help combat climate change.”

MTS and NCTD have held an annual Free Ride Day since 2018, with the exception of 2021 when they held a free ride month. On previous Free Ride Day events, transit ridership has increased as much as 30%.

“We’re fortunate in our region to have public transit systems that access so much of the county,” said Jewel Edson, NCTD board chair and a Solana Beach city councilmember. 

“By offering free rides on Oct. 5, we hope folks will leave their cars at home for the  day and try transit,” she said. “It’s important for our community and for our air quality that we embrace transit and see how it can fit into our daily commute.”

Officials said transit’s commuting benefits include significant cost savings compared to driving a car, buying gas and paying for parking, as well as reducing air pollution.

MTS said that people trying transit for the first time will find MTS Ambassadors and security officers at most trolley stations who can help answer any questions.


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