Commuters can celebrate Earth Day with perks from local transit, more

WASHINGTON — Commuters from Loudoun County, Virginia, can get up to $300 just for changing the way they get to work.

It’s one of a number of free or discounted options that commuters concerned about travel time and costs can take advantage of as transit organizations across the D.C. region observe Earth Day on Friday, or roll out new discounts tied to Interstate 66 tolls and upcoming toll lane construction.

Earth Day, free rides

In celebration of Earth Day, TransIT Services in Frederick County, Maryland, offers free rides on all Connector and shuttle routes Friday. The free rides are designed to highlight the energy, environmental and cost savings of taking public transit.

Also on Friday, in the District, Mayor Muriel Bowser is set to highlight 14 new fully electric DC Circulator buses that are scheduled to carry riders for the first time on May 1. The buses can travel more than 200 miles on a single charge and are expected to run on all six DC Circulator routes. A separate batch of new diesel buses arrived last year.

All this week in Montgomery County, Ride On has been offering free rides to anyone who donates a nonperishable food item. The donations to the Manna Food Center help local families in need. The free rides in exchange for food donations run through Saturday night.

Free cash for Loudoun County commuters

The free money for Loudoun County commuters is available to anyone who currently drives alone to or from work on a commute that uses the I-66 corridor inside the Capital Beltway, since the program is funded by I-66 toll revenue.

Commuters who register online and are willing to switch from driving alone to taking a Loudoun County Commuter Bus will qualify for $100 SmarTrip cards for each of the first three months they take the bus to and from Rosslyn, the Pentagon or D.C.

Riders who already use Loudoun County Transit commuter buses can refer a friend to receive a $50 card.

Commuters who drive alone but are willing to carpool can get a $25 gas card just for expressing interest, and a $100 gas card for each person who joins a new carpool and registers online.

The program is also offering $500 toward the expenses of a new vanpool for the first three months.

Separately, Loudoun buses that go to Metro stations are free from this week through June 2.

Fairfax Connector and PRTC OmniRide are planning discounts along the I-66 corridor in the near future as well, including half-off OmniRide fares to and from Gainesville and Manassas for more than four years of construction of new I-66 toll lanes between Gainesville and the Beltway.

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