Free bus rides in southern Colorado in August to save drivers money, help improve air quality

Mountain Metro
Mountain Metro(KKTV/Kasia Kerridge)
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 4:25 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - For the entire month of August, you can ride the local bus system for free to help save money at the pump and improve Colorado’s air quality.

11 News spoke with Mountain Metro about the Zero Fare for Better Air campaign, which was made possible by Colorado Senate Bill 22-180, a statewide initiative designed to reduce ground-level ozone by increasing use of public transit.

“Normally during the summer months when it’s warmer, ozone is higher, so it’s designed to give people options by trying transit for the first time,” said Brian Vitulli of Mountain Metro. “Certainly with high gas prices, normally that means more ridership on transit systems. But, combined with this campaign, it’s kind of a win-win for everybody.”

Mountain Metro is still recovering from the pandemic, reporting only about 75% ridership compared to summer of 2019.

“We’ve done a lot of great work over the last several years to improve our transit system to make it more reliable and more dependable for our existing riders but to also make it more attractive for new riders,” said Vitulli.

According to AAA, on Monday, Aug. 1, the national average for gas is at about $4.21, up more than a dollar from last year. Colorado’s current average is slightly above that at $4.40.

Customers who are new to the MMT system can plan trips or research routes by visiting or call customer service during normal business hours (8 a.m.-5 p.m.), at 719-385-7344 (RIDE).

“Becoming a steady transit user, that makes a strong environmental statement right there where you’re looking to put many people in one vehicle, rather than one person driving their own car, and it’s really on par with what we value in Colorado,” said Vitulli.

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