Cheaper bus rides aimed at reducing pollution

Courtesy KCATA.

Courtesy KCATA.

Riding Metro buses will be cheaper as the summer heats up, part of a program to reduce ozone pollution.

Starting June 1, area transit agencies will pick up part of the cost of riding the bus on ozone alert days, when there is a high concentration of ground-level ozone pollution.

Auto emissions are a major contributor to ground-level ozone, so getting more people to ride the bus on high ozone days can reduce pollution.

“Fares on ozone alert days cost 75 cents, which is just half the cost of riding most routes offered by The Metro. The reduced fares will be available regionally on routes served by The JO in Johnson County, Unified Government Transit and IndeBus,” the KCATA said in a press release.

It said that ozone’s harmful effects can include eye, nose and throat irritation; chest pain; coughing; nausea; and headaches. Ozone can also trigger asthma attacks, permanently damaging a person’s lungs. Many people are sensitive to ozone, especially while being active outdoors. Children, senior citizens, those working or playing outdoors, and people with respiratory disease are at a higher risk from ozone exposure.

“The reduced fares are a great way the entire region can join together to reduce the harmful effects of air pollution,” KCATA Vice President of Communications Cindy Baker said. “Not only are our riders saving at least 50 percent on bus fare, they are helping our environment.”

• Ozone Alert days are noted on The Metro buses’ overhead signs. They are also broadcast by local media outlets. The ozone forecast is available at (913) 383-7557, at, on at @airqkc, and most local weather forecasts.
• Riders can be ready to use the reduced fare by planning their trips in advance.
 Learn how to ride The Metro
• The Regional Call Center offers route and schedule information for all three bus services at (816) 221-0660. The center is open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays.

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