PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island officials are considering whether to end a program that makes public buses free on days when the state's air quality is expected to be unhealthy.

Amy Pettine (peh-TEEN') of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority says the agency is working with other state departments to evaluate the program that has provided free rides since 1995.

Pettine says RIPTA is working with state transportation and environmental officials to decide whether the free ride program is meeting its goals to raise awareness about bad air quality and reduce emissions.

She says there is a bump in ridership on air quality alert days, but that anecdotally, much of that demand is coming from people going to the beach.

Pettine says they're also looking at how to fund the program going forward.


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