GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Dwindling funds are threatening to bring The Rapid's free-ride program to a halt.
The program gives free rides to commuters who use the transportation system on "Clean Air Action! Days," when unhealthy ozone levels present health hazards.
Including Tuesday, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has declared 20 action days this year. The last time that many were set was 1999. The Rapid said the near-record number of days has caused it to re-evaluate whether it can afford to provide the free rides.
Leaders of The Rapid said they are looking at whether they have the money to continue free rides this year. State and federal funds to cover the lost fares have been decreasing.
Spokesperson Jennifer Kalczuk told 24 News 8 that the company is in the process of determining how many more free ride days it can fund with its current budget.
She said The Rapid is fortunate it has funds remaining from previous years when there were not as many Air Action Days that can cover this year's increased numbers.
Kalczuk said if The Rapid ultimately suspends free rides for the rest of the season, it will give as much notice as possible.
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