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Golden Empire Transit extending free rides to Monday due to air quality

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Posted at 5:11 PM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-23 20:37:51-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Golden Empire Transit District (GET) is extending their free rides to Monday, August 24, due to the bad air quality throughout the city.

Bakersfield residents are encouraged to ride GET fixed-routes and GET-A-Lift- all day, free of charge.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Air Quality Index (AQI) focuses on health effects a person may experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air. The EPA calculates the AQI for five major air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act: Ground-level ozone, particle pollution, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.

“GET is committed to the environment and exceptional customer service,” said Karen King, GET’s CEO. “Today we invite you to leave your cars parked and ride GET for free, all day, to avoid additional air pollution and to protect your health.”

Residents are encouraged to download the free San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District app to monitor air quality. The app is available for free on the App Store (Valley Air District) and Google Play (Valley Air). This is the official app of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District which monitors the AQI for the region.

Funding for AQI free rides on GET’s fixed-route and Get-A-Lift services is provided by a Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) grant. The CMAQ program is a flexible federal‐aid funding source for transportation projects that reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality, specifically for the pollutants ozone, carbon monoxide and particulate matter.