San Diego Transit Leaders Unite for Free Ride Day, Oct. 4

With skyrocketing gas prices, leaders encourage San Diego residents to save money and the environment by taking transit  

Media event broll and photos

San Diego - Today regional transit leaders and supporters gathered at the Old Town Transit Center to encourage San Diegans to celebrate California Clean Air Day by riding transit free on Wednesday, October 4 - the region’s sixth edition of Free Ride Day.

The Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), North County Transit District (NCTD) and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) have partnered up to host Free Ride Day in conjunction with California Clean Air Day. All buses, Trolleys, the COASTER and SPRINTER will be free to ride all day.

“Conserving our planet is a priority for all of us. Initiatives like Free Ride Day provide an opportunity for residents to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainability by riding clean transportation options,” said Stephen Whitburn, MTS Board Chair and City of San Diego Councilmember, District 3. “And with record-high gas prices, taking transit not only helps the environment, it can help your wallet too.”

“We live in a state with some of the worst air pollution in the country. Take a break from traffic and pollution – instead, take action and experience a day of emissions-free travel on a bus or train for free,” said NCTD Board Member and Vista City Council Member Corinna Contreras. “Riding the COASTER or SPRINTER train, or BREEZE bus decreases greenhouse gas emissions and reduces air pollutants in the San Diego region. A benefit for us all.”

“I encourage everyone to take the pledge for Clean Air Day,” said San Diego County Supervisor and SANDAG Chairwoman Nora Vargas. “Whether you ride transit, walk, bike, or carpool on Wednesday, together, we can make a huge impact to reduce gas emissions and improve air quality for everyone.”

On Free Ride Day, here are some of the benefits passengers can enjoy when leaving the car at home: 

  • Cost savings: With gas prices hovering around $6 per gallon in San Diego County, riders are invited to try the commute cost calculator to see how much they can save by choosing transit.
  • Reduce air pollution: People who will participate in Free Ride Day are encouraged to take the clean air pledge and demonstrate the collective commitment to cleaner air.

Free Ride Day Activities

MTS will also hold pop-up outreach events at major transit centers in the morning (from 6 – 8 a.m.) and afternoon (from 4 -6 p.m.) to thank riders for choosing transit. Riders can stop by for transit information and promotional items and enter to win a Free Ride Day giveaway! Click here to see full list of locations. 

SANDAG promotional offers include free rides with Circuit, BCycle and Bird. For more information visit,

  • Free Rides with Circuit App:
    • Downtown: FRED
    • National City: FRANC
    • Oceanside: gO'side Shuttle
    • Pacific Beach: The Beach Bug
  • BCycle: Unlock a BCycle Day Pass for free with code CLEANAIR23
  • Bird: Unlock two free rides with code BIRDCA23

About MTS

The Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) operates more than 100 bus routes and three Trolley lines in 10 cities and unincorporated areas of San Diego. MTS is a leader in advancing initiatives to create a greener, cleaner and better-connected transit system in San Diego. Each weekday nearly 200,000 passenger trips are taken throughout the MTS system taking people to work, school, health appointments and other essential trips. In FY 2022, MTS served more than 57 million riders. For service schedule updates, news, alerts and more information on how you can use public transportation, go to

Media Contact: Mark Olson, 619-557-4588,

About NCTD

The North County Transit District is a public transportation agency providing over 10 million passenger trips in Fiscal Year 2019 throughout North San Diego County and into downtown San Diego. NCTD is designated as a rail common carrier by the Surface Transportation Board based on the movement of interstate commerce on the tracks and the Railroad of Record by the Federal Railroad Administration responsible for safety over the entire San Diego portion of the LOSSAN corridor. NCTD's system includes BREEZE buses (with FLEX service), COASTER commuter trains, SPRINTER hybrid rail trains, and LIFT paratransit service. NCTD's mission is to deliver safe, convenient, reliable, and user-friendly public transportation services. For more information, visit:

Media Contact: Colleen Windsor, 760-672-0272,


SANDAG is the regional agency that connects people, places, and innovative ideas by implementing solutions with our unique and diverse communities. We are committed to creating a San Diego region where every person who visits, works, and lives can thrive. 

Media Contact: Jessica Gonzales, 323-326-4226,


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