DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Greater Dayton RTA is offering free rides this week as part of two initiatives: air quality awareness week and to get people to go out and vote.

With the rise in temperatures, sunshine and stagnant air, pollutants in the air can reduce the air quality. RTA is participating in National Air Quality Awareness Week by offering free rides Monday, hoping to reduce the amount of cars on the roadway and improve the air quality.

Jessica Olson, communications manager for the Greater Dayton RTA, said, “Every time you ride a bus, there is the potential to eliminate 40 cars from the roadway, so if everybody would just take transit one day a week like we’re doing today on May 2nd, that would be 40 less cars per bus on the roadway and that’s a lot of emissions.”

In addition to reducing vehicle emissions, riding on the RTA electric trolley cuts emissions even more than their diesel buses.

Olson said, “The RTA has the greenest fleet in Ohio with our trolley system which is zero emissions. That is a lot of positive for air quality here in Miami Valley.”

The RTA will continue the free rides Tuesday, May 3 in hopes of getting more people out to the polls, especially those without a way to get to their polling location.

Olson said, “We know that transportation is a barrier for some people so we’ve eliminated that barrier, made it easy for them to get to their polling place. Yes, that means they can ride free when they are going to work or health appointments as well, but we are hoping that by being reminded that this free ride is for elections, that they will go to the polls and vote and exercise their American right.”

The RTA will be offering the free rides all day Tuesday, even after the polls close at 7:30 pm.