Steps to Cleaner Air

Ozone Action Season

During the months of May-September, your community could face unhealthy air quality levels due to an increase in ground-level ozone concentrations from single occupant vehicles. Watch for ozone alerts of orange or higher and Take Action!

  • • Ride the Bus, Carpool, Vanpool, Bike or Walk
  • • Don’t top off your gas tank
  • • Reduce vehicle engine idling
  • • Fuel up after 5 p.m.
  • • Trip Chain-combine your errands
  • • Refrain from mowing on Ozone Action Days

Air Quality Index (AQI) Values Levels of Health Concern Colors
When the AQIis in this range: ...air quality conditions are: Meaning
0 to 50 Good Air quality is considered satisfactory and air pollution poses little or no risk.
51 to 100 Moderate Air quality is acceptable, however there may be a very small number of people affected who are usually sensitive to air pollution.
101 to 150 Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Members of sensitive groups (children, those with asthma or otehr lung problems) may experience health effects.
151 to 200 Unhealthy Everyone may begin to experience health effects. Members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.
201 to 300 Very Unhealthy Health alert: Everyone may experience more serious health effects.

To help make sure the air you breathe is clean here are three tips to reduce air pollution and traffic congestion in your community:

  • 1. Care For Your Car - Regular tune-ups and oil changes combined with proper tie inflation can improve your car’s gas mileage and reduce its emissions by more than half!
  • 2. Care For Yourself - Walking and bicycling are healthier for you and they’re easy ways to get exercise, save money, and help reduce traffic congestion and pollution.
  • 3. Spread the Word - So keep it up and spread the word about car maintenance, biking and walking!

Simple Steps to Cleaner Air

We know that getting in your own car and driving is often the easiest and quickest option, but you may not know that a small change in the choices we make can have a big impact.

  • • At least once a week choose to ride the bus, or choose other commute options such biking, walking, carpool or vanpool.
  • • If you have to drive alone, combine trips and don't idle your vehicle
  • • Fuel your car in the evening and don’t top off your tank.
  • • Mow your lawn in the evening and reduce the number of times you water your lawn.

Ozone & Your Health

High pollution levels affect your community. The effects of ozone on your health include:

  • • Increase in asthma irritation
  • • Chest pain and difficulty in breathing
  • • Narrows airways, making it harder to provide oxygen to the body
  • • Aggravated/prolonged coughing
  • • Increased chance of respiratory infection
  • • Eye irritation
  • • Most vulnerable: those with pre-existing respiratory problems, children, and adults who actively exercise or work outdoors

Individuals who ride public transportation can save on average $9,167 annually based on the August 7, 2009 national average gas price and the national unreserved monthly parking rate. “The Transit Savings Report” released monthly by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) calculates the average annual and monthly savings for public transit users. The report examines how an individual in a two-person household can save money by taking public transportation and living with one less car.

Transit riders can save on average $764 per month. The savings amount is based on the cost of the national averages for parking and driving, as well as, the August 7 national average gas price of $2.628 per gallon for self-serve regular gasoline as reported by AAA, a slight increase from last month’s price.

Taking public transportation provides a safe and affordable way for individuals and families to get around during the summer months, according to APTA. In addition, local public transit offers a travel option that has an immediate, positive impact in reducing an individual’s overall carbon footprint while helping reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.

The national average for a monthly unreserved parking space in a downtown business district is $154.23, according to the 2009 Colliers International Parking Rate Study. Over the course of a year, parking costs for a vehicle can amount to an average of $1,850. The top 20 cities with the highest transit ridership are ranked in order of their transit savings based on the purchase of a monthly public transit pass and factoring in local gas prices for August 7, 2009 and the local monthly unreserved parking rate.*

Top Twenty Cities - Transit Savings Report

City Monthly Savings Annual Savings
1 New York $1,143 $13,719
2 Boston $1,025 $12,296
3 San Francisco $1,011 $12,131
4 Chicago $939 $11,269
5 Seattle $928 $11,136
6 Philadelphia $919 $11,029
7 Honolulu $877 $10,528
8 Los Angeles $835 $10,015
9 San Diego $822 $9,858
10 Minneapolis $815 $9,784
11 Cleveland $796 $9,552
12 Portland $795 $9,540
13 Denver $794 $9,526
14 Baltimore $772 $9,261
15 Miami $743 $8,912
16 Washington, DC $741 $8,895
17 Dallas $725 $8,695
18 Atlanta $711 $8,527
19 Las Vegas $709 $8,505
20 Pittsburgh $674 $8,091

*Based on gasoline prices as reported by AAA on 8/7/09.


APTA calculates the average cost of taking public transit by determining the average monthly transit pass of local public transit agencies across the country. This information is based on the annual APTA fare collection survey and is weighted based on ridership (unlinked passenger trips). The assumption is that a person making a switch to public transportation would likely purchase an unlimited pass on the local transit agency, typically available on a monthly basis.

APTA then compares the average monthly transit fare to the average cost of driving. The cost of driving is calculated using the 2009 AAA average cost of driving formula. AAA cost of driving formula is based on variable costs and fixed costs. The variable costs include the cost of gas, maintenance and tires. The fixed costs include insurance, license registration, depreciation and finance charges. The comparison also uses the average mileage of a mid-size auto at 23.4 miles per gallon and the price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline as recorded by AAA on August 7 at $2.628 per gallon. The analysis also assumes that a person will drive an average of 15,000 miles per year. The savings assume a person in two-person household lives with one less car.

In determining the cost of parking, APTA uses the data from the 2009 Colliers International Parking Rate Study for monthly unreserved parking rates for the United States.

To calculate your individual savings with or without car ownership, go to