We're all sick of hearing the term "Air Quality Action Alert" by now. And if you're feeling like we've spent the most of summer 2023 under a cloud of haze thanks to the Canadian wildfire, you're not alone.

In fact, so far in 2023 we've had 19 air action days, which is way above average for the city. Just to compare- in 2022, we only had 6 Clean Air Action Days days.

Smoke From Canadian Wildfires Blows South Creating Hazy Conditions On Large Swath Of Eastern U.S.
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It's so bad in fact, this is the second worst year on recent record for bad air quality. The last time we saw a summer with this many problems was in 2012 when 25 days were called for throughout the summer.

We don't know how many bad air days we'll have this summer, but based on how we're pacing so far, we very well may beat that record by the end of summer.

Which means that unfortunately the funding for the Rapid's free rides on Clean Air Action Days has been depleted due to the excessive need so far this summer.

The Rapid on Facebook
The Rapid on Facebook

In a facebook post that was shared on Monday July 17th, they apologized for the unplanned inconvenience.

We would like to extend our sincerest apologies for any confusion caused today around free bus rides. We were notified of an Air Quality Action Day taking place last night and had scheduled messaging accordingly. However, we were unable to fulfill our plans for the day. The Rapid is awarded a certain amount of Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds annually through our partnership with Grand Valley Metropolitan Council.

However, there is some hope in sight if we are still struggling with this issue later in the summer, the funds are expected to return in August when the budget resets.

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