San Francisco Bay Area’s Spare the Air/Free Morning Commute Program: Program Effectiveness in Comparison to the Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles Area Strategy and Suggestions for Enhancing Ridership D

The Spare the Air/Free Morning Commute (Spare the Air) program in the San Francisco Bay Are funds up to five mornings of weekday transit when air quality is forecasted to exceed federal 8-hour ozone levels during the summer months. Spare the Air has existed for two years and data is limited to three fare free morning commute days. A similar program exists in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area known as Code Red Air Quality Action Days, which funds free transit with the exception of rail and buses within the District of Columbia. These two programs are contrasted with one another along with the Los Angeles region transportation related air quality strategy in order to provide insight on which programs are most effective and appropriate for each region. In order to determine policy appropriateness, a literature review of transit fare elasticity and major air quality strategies in the three regions is undertaken. Lastly, the current Spare the Air program evaluation and the ridership collection, analysis, and reporting methodology are reviewed in order to make suggestions for more effective program administration.

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