EMBARK, Central Oklahoma’s public transit entity, will offer free rides on its fixed-route and zone 1 Paratransit bus and its OKC Streetcar service every Third Friday through September. Residents are encouraged to leave their car at home, hop on a bus or streetcar and ride the route needed to reach their destination.
Riding public transit vehicles can help decrease Ozone Air Quality levels and help individuals increase their environmental responsibility. Ditching your car or other single occupancy vehicle even just once a month can help improve air quality in our state.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the United States had a 10% decrease in the national average for Ozone Air Quality between 2010-2020. However, during that same period, the southwest region had the lowest decrease among all regions in the U.S. at 4%. Ozone Air Quality can cause lung irritation, wheezing and coughing when levels are too high. Today, June 15, is currently an Ozone Alert Day for Oklahoma City, meaning air pollution levels are expected to reach unhealthy ranges.
“The air we breathe is as important as the water we drink; that’s why EMBARK is focused on transitioning to vehicle technologies that are cleaner and more efficient,” said Jason Ferbrache, EMBARK Administrator. “The Third Friday Free program was developed to make trying transit easier, and the cleaner air resulting from increased public transit use benefits the entire region, not just those who use it.”
Just as taking public transit as an individual helps improve air quality, the transit vehicles used can also help to better air quality. Currently, EMBARK’s fleet includes two hybrid electric buses, 19 CNG buses, three CNG paratransit vehicles, seven modern electric streetcars, and a bike-share fleet. EMBARK’s electric bus, the first of its kind in Oklahoma, began service earlier this year, and a second is on order.
Residents are encouraged to use public transit Friday, June 18, to break the routine of driving to work while reducing congestion by using public transportation.
This annual program makes bus, OKC Streetcar, and zone 1 Paratransit fare-free on the third Friday of each month. To view more upcoming Free Fare Days, visit www.embarkok.com.