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Dump the Pump Day means a free ride on Hall Area Transit
Hall Area Transit will be offering free rides later this month for Dump the Pump Day. - photo by Tom Reed

There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but later this month you can snag a free ride.

Hall Area Transit is gearing up for the Fourth Annual National Dump the Pump Day on June 18. The bus system will celebrate the day by giving everyone a free bus ride.

Hall Area Transit Director Phillippa Lewis Moss said this year marks the fourth the local bus system has participated in the national event.

She said the day is meant to encourage people to use public transportation and leave the car at home. By taking the bus, riders will save money, protect the environment, reduce dependence on foreign oil and improve the quality of life for those who might spend too much time sitting in traffic.

"It’s all about encouraging everyday citizens who ordinarily drive a car to take the bus, and to do it with preserving the environment in mind," she said. "... I think there’s a price to pay for living here among all this greenery, and part of paying that price is preserving the environment."

Anyone switching to public transportation can reduce his or her daily carbon emissions by 20 pounds, which amounts to more than 4,800 pounds a year, Moss said.

In addition, she said public transportation reduces the country’s carbon footprint by 37 million metric tons, which equates to 4.9 million households using electricity in a year.

Moss said according to the American Public Transit Association, riding the bus can save you $8,000 a year in driving-related expenses, including parking.

And the best part about public transportation is someone else gets to drive. Public transportation nationwide saves 541 million hours in travel time each year, which in turn, reduces stress and decreases roadway congestion, Moss said.

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