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Friday to be 10th Spare the Air Day of year

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  • 8/31 SF Chronicle
    Published Thursday, August 31, 2006, by the San Francisco Chronicle Friday will be 10th Spare the Air Day of year By Bob Egelko Chronicle Staff Writer SAN
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2006
      Published Thursday, August 31, 2006, by the San Francisco Chronicle

      Friday will be 10th Spare the Air Day of year

      By Bob Egelko
      Chronicle Staff Writer

      SAN FRANCISCO -- The forecast of a warm, smoggy day for Friday
      prompted the regional air quality board to declare the 10th Spare
      the Air Day of 2006 and urge commuters to use public transit, but
      without the incentive of a free ride.

      A $13 million allotment of federal, state and local funds allowed
      the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to offer free fares on
      25 local transit systems during six days this summer when pollution
      reached unhealthy levels. The money ran out July 21, forcing
      officials to appeal to riders' save-the-planet impulses without
      the added lure of saving their pocket money.

      The statistics so far are encouraging, said Luna Salaver,
      spokeswoman for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. She
      said transit ridership on the six free-fare days was up 225,000
      from the usual 1.4 million.

      On July 24, the only one of the three full-fare days to occur on a
      weekday, ridership on BART, the only system with records available,
      was 20,000 above the normal 320,000, only slightly below the
      increases reported on the free-fare days.

      Other recommendations to curb the ozone level include car-pooling,
      postponing until the weekend errands that require driving, putting
      off household projects that require painting, staining or
      disinfecting, and making do without lighter fluid in Friday
      barbecues, Salaver said.

      The 10 Spare the Air Days this year compare to only one last year
      and two in 2004, but are far short of the record of 25 in 1996,
      Salaver said.


      E-mail Bob Egelko at begelko@...
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