Strætó will offer free bus service in Reykjavík on the next “grey day,” when particulate pollution levels exceed established health limits. Vísir reports that the public transportation service has programmed a “free ticket” into their app, which will be activated on the grey day to encourage commuters to opt for public transport rather than travelling by car.
Guðmundur Heiðar Helgason, Strætó’s Public Relations Officer, says the company is hoping to change residents’ attitudes toward air quality issues. “We want to create a mental association among people so that on grey days, people think about leaving the car at home and use the good weather to walk, bike, or take the bus instead.”
The initiative is currently a pilot project set to happen only once, but if it is well received, it could become a regular effort to combat air pollution. Travellers will be informed of free bus service at least one day in advance so they can plan their day accordingly.
Strætó has been working with the Environment Agency, the Reykjavík Public Health Authority, the Icelandic Met Office, the Ministry for the Environment, and others to find a solution to poor air quality which often plagues Reykjavík at this time of year. High particulate pollution levels are often measured in Reykjavík during spring, due to the combination of dry weather conditions and studded tires, among other factors.