SALT LAKE CITY — The air can get bad up and down the Wasatch Front during the dog days of summer, so in an effort to cut down on pollution from automobiles, the Utah Transit Authority and Zions Bank have teamed up on a new program called Ride Clear.
People who register at utarideclear.com and pledge to improve air quality by riding transit in July will receive a free seven-day UTA pass valued at $50.
Ride Clear passes are good on TRAX, FrontRunner and UTA buses. The passes are electronic, so patrons will need to remember to tap on and off when boarding, exiting or transferring between buses and trains.
In 2012, Clean the Air Challenge tracked almost 4,000 participants who pledged to improve air quality. Participants saved a combined 1,360,364 pounds of emissions, and more than than 73,000 gallons of gas.
The Ride Clear pass will be good for seven consecutive days of travel once activated after the first tap. The passes will be valid for travel between July 1 and July 31. A limited supply of 2,500 passes will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Poor air quality has become an unpleasant fact of life along the Wasatch Front, even impacting some residents' health, said UTA General Manager Michael Allegra. The Utah Department of Air Quality estimates that one in three Utahns experiences respiratory problems during poor air quality days, he added.
“We looked at the air quality issue and felt like we had a unique opportunity to do something to help,” Allegra said. “We hope people take advantage of this new program, especially on days when the air is really bad. Taking any cars off the road during times when the summer air stagnates is good for everyone.”