Bus rides free on orange, red ozone days

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 10, 2011

City of Salisbury
SALISBURY ó Salisburyís Transit Division is offering free city bus rides on orange and red ozone action days, for the fifth straight year.
The initiative began May 1 and continues through Sept. 30. The five-month period spans the N.C. Division of Air Qualityís specified ozone season.
A municipal agreement between the city and the N.C. Department of Transportation provides funding through the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality project.
The project was established to support surface transportation projects and other related efforts that contribute to air quality improvements. In addition, the grant strives to improve customer relations and to promote local transit systems as an alternative form of transportation.
ěPublic transportation offers an affordable and convenient alternative to driving,î Mayor Susan Kluttz said in a statement.
Kluttz said the environmental impact of choosing public transit is significant.
In comparison to private vehicles, public transportation generates 95 percent less carbon monoxide.
Rodney Harrison serves as manager of the cityís Transit Division.
The current rate for local bus riders is $1 for regular fares. Senior citizens (age 60 and over) and handicapped riders may ride for 50 cents per person.
Transfers are free, as well as bus fare for children under the age of 5.
Riders may board and disembark from any designated bus stop throughout the city or at the Salisbury transfer site on Depot Street, located adjacent to the Amtrak train station. City buses arrive and depart daily from the transfer site at 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after the hour.
Bus service is available Monday through Friday from 6:15 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. and on Saturday from 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. City buses donít run on Sunday.
By 5 p.m. each day, the Salisbury Transit Division receives the local air quality and ozone level report forecast for the next day. If the local forecast predicts an orange or red ozone action day, the free ride program will be initiated.
Probable riders may contact the transit hotline at 704-216-7537 after 7 p.m. each day, to receive an updated ozone status report.
In addition, residents may visit the city of Salisburyís Transit Division website at www.salisburync.gov/transit for more information.
Ground level ozone concentrations are more apt to exceed safe health levels on extremely hot days with slight or no wind and with temperatures in the 90 degrees and above range.
Residents may visit any Parks & Recreation center for detailed maps outlining transit destinations and arrival and departure times.
ěWe encourage our citizens to take advantage of the free bus fare program and leave the driving to us,î Harrison said.