EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- In celebration of Earth Day, Eau Claire Transit is offering free bus rides on Monday.
Earth Day, April 22nd began right here in Wisconsin four decades ago. Eau Claire Transit is hoping to promote a cleaner environment by offering free rides in honor of Earth Day.
"One of the Transit Commission members suggested 'hey let’s do something on Earth Day',” said Thomas Wagener, Eau Claire Transit Manager.
Eau Claire Transit is partnering with Chippewa Valley Transit Alliance to cover the fares for all riders Monday.
Officials say Earth Day is the day we should all think about ways we can improve the quality of Mother Earth. "It’s important because it’s the only earth we have and we gotta pay attention to how we're dealing with it," said Phil Swanhorst of Chippewa Valley Transit Alliance.
The goal is to reduce the city's carbon footprint, air pollution, and traffic congestion. "There’s been a form of mass transit in Eau Claire since the 1870s...the whole idea of mass transit is to help people get where they need to go and to do it in an economic way, in a way that is environmentally friendly," said Wagener.
This is the first time Eau Claire Transit is offering free rides for Earth Day and officials expect it won't be the last. "We have already received a positive response as far as it’s a good idea to expose the importance of earth day and the activities that go with it," said Swanhorst.
Eau Claire Transit has taken steps in the past to promote a clean environment. "Hybrid buses that use less diesel fuel and all of our buses are what are called clean diesel that go through air pollution cleanser," said Wagener.
Free Earth Day rides begin Monday, April 22nd from 5:30AM to 10PM. "We welcome any new riders down here...we'll take you to Shopko, we'll take you to the mall, we'll take you on the bus and show you how easy and convenient it is to use."