SALT LAKE CITY - How can we help keep Utah's air safe to breathe in the winter?
One of the simple answers seems impossible; stop driving.
Can you do that? If you live in Salt Lake County, you can give it a try this week.
Salt Lake County leaders are offering free public transit Friday, Dec. 22, to help improve air quality.
They`re calling it "Free Fare Friday."
The $2.50 riders would normally spend for fare on all UTA routes will be waived for one day only.
That means TRAX, FrontRunner, buses and paratransit are free all day.
UTA, the Salt Lake County Mayors Office and the Salt Lake City Council are splitting the $70,000 cost.
Friday is expected to be the busiest Christmas shopping day so leaders said they are hoping you`ll ditch the car and ride mass transit instead.
Vehicles account for almost 60 percent of pollution trapped in during inversions.
If more people drive less, it can make a big difference in air quality.
"One day doesn`t make a huge difference in our air quality, but the idea of providing opportunities for people to get used to using transit is really what we`re going for here," Salt Lake City Council Chair Stan Penfold said. "We want people to think about, 'What can I do personally and individually to change the air quality,' and it is really about getting out of your car and figuring out another way to get around."
Regularly using mass transit can be an adjustment; "Free Fare Friday" can be a good test to find ways to fit it into your lifestyle.
The ultimate goal for everyone involved in this partnership is to have a "Free Fare Day" on a "Red Air Day."