BART announces Thursday's Spare the Air ridership results


BART announces Thursday's Spare the Air ridership results

BART estimates 28,000 additional passengers or 358,000 total riders, are taking advantage of Thursday's (July 20) free BART rides. That's 8.5% jump in ridership for a typical Thursday.

During the first five Spare the Air days this year, BART estimates that a total of 131,000 additional people have steered clear of their cars and have chosen BART. Friday, July 21 is the sixth and final free transit Spare the Air day. BART rides will once again be free all day. BART should have ridership counts for the sixth day by about 3 p. m. Friday.


  • Thursday June 22, 2006: 33,000 additional riders
  • Friday June 23, 2006: 16,000 additional riders
  • Monday June 26, 2006: 28,000 additional riders
  • Monday July 17, 2006: 26,000 additional riders
  • Thursday July 20, 2006: 28,000 additional riders
  • TOTAL: 131,000 additional riders 

Thursday is the fifth of six possible Spare the Air day free commute days of 2006, a program originally intended to end after three free commute days. But, just last week, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission authorized $5.3 million to extend the program, providing free travel on BART and more than 20 other participating Bay Area transit agencies all day. MTC authorized free commutes on a total of six Spare the Air days through October 13, 2006.

The point of the free transit program is to protect billions of transportation dollars and reduce Bay Area smog during the summer months when pollution levels are the highest. The federal government could, for air quality reasons, withhold or even cancel billions of highway and transit dollars earmarked for the Bay Area. That's money that regional transportation agencies are counting on to fund projects designed to get commuters out of gridlock. The public can get advance notification of Spare the Air days by registering for Air Alerts at