LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Many Southland transit agencies will be offering free rides Saturday to mark Earth Day and encourage Angelenos to use public transportation to improve the environment.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority will offer free rides in honor of Earth Day, which this year is themed "Every Day is Earth Day." Free rides will also be offered on Metrolink trains and on Orange County Transportation Authority vehicles.
Metro officials said that by riding public transportation, residents can help reduce vehicle emissions and promote a "healthy and sustainable" transportation alternative for commuters.
Riders can plan their Metro transit trips using Metro's rider apps webpage at https://bit.ly/43WSJWP, which has a number of trip planning, trip taking and payment tools available. Riders can also access the Metro Transit app.
"Earth Day is a great opportunity for Angelenos to get out of their cars to try Metro's expansive transit system and reduce their carbon footprint," said Glendale City Councilman Ara Najarian, and chair of Metro's board, in a statement. "We are doing our part to help cut greenhouse gasses and improve air quality by operating only the cleanest transit vehicles."
All Metro bus routes and rail lines will be free to the public from 3 a.m. Saturday to 2:59 a.m. Sunday. Bus fareboxes will be deactivated, and all train station fare gates will be opened to enable county residents and visitors alike to easily use public transit for their transportation needs.
Angelenos and vistors can also redeem a free 30-minute bike share ride by selecting 1-Ride at any Metro Bike Share kiosk, online or in the Metro Bike Share app. Customers should enter promo code 042223 to redeem their free ride, which can be redeemed multiple times throughout the day.
Electric Metro Bike unlocking fees are waived, too.
Customers can redeem free rides on Metro Micro, Metro's on-demand rideshare service, by using the Metro Micro app or browser and entering code earthday23. The promo code will be available during regular operating hours for Metro's call center (323-GoMetro or 323-466-3876).
The call center's operating hours are from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
"Using public transit is the best way to reduce your personal greenhouse gas emissions and help preserve our planet for future generations," said Stephanie Wiggins, Metro's chief executive officer. in a statement. "We're proud to provide free rides to everyone on Earth Day, to promote public transit use, and I look forward to seeing everyone on Metro this April 22nd."
Metro aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 79% through fleet electrification and system retrofits. Metro's Orange (G) Line runs on electric power, the Silver (J) Line is set to be converted to all-electric zero-emission busses.
The entire 105-mile Metro Rail system operates on electric power.
Metrolink train riders can use the promo code EarthDay2023 to redeem free ride tickets at ticketing machines or on the mobile app.
Metrolink officials are also encouraging people to visit the agency's "A Picture is Worth a Thousand Rides" exhibit at Union Station, featuring photos taken by train riders and by local photographer Erwin Recinos.
"We hope that through this fun photo contest and the temporary photo exhibit, we can encourage the public to consider using Metrolink trains with greater frequency," Metrolink CEO Darren Kettle said. "Whether it*s for work or leisure travel, if everyone commits to small changes in their modes of transportation, we can make a positive and lasting impact on our air quality and environment."
OCTA buses will also be free throughout the day Saturday. The agency noted that it is working toward a goal of utilizing only zero-emission vehicles by 2040, currently testing the first two of 10 plug-in electric buses. The agency began operating 10 hydrogen fuel-cell electric buses in 2020.
"While our primary focus at OCTA is to keep Orange County moving safely and efficiently, part of the agency's mission is to also protect our environment and improve our air quality to help our residents and visitors breathe easier," OCTA Chairman Gene Hernandez, also the mayor of Yorba Linda, said in a statement. "It's truly a win-win for our county."