Save Your Money — and the Planet — With Free Bus or Bike Rides This Weekend

A family rides the public bus.
(Left to right) Nevaeh Gamble, 4, Skyler Gamble, 2, mom Tamika Reeves and Jasmine Gamble, 4, Nevaeh's twin, ride the bus in St. Petersburg, Florida. Reeves says the bus is her primary form of transportation, and she uses it to take her daughters to school and doctor appointments. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

We all need to get from Point A to Point B. The question is: How much are we willing to pay for that ride?

With car payments, insurance, gas, maintenance fees, parking and more, the cost of owning a car can quickly add up. Alternatives, like taking public transportation or riding a bike, could save you money — plus be better for the environment.

In celebration of Earth Day, some public transportation systems and bike-share companies are offering free rides this weekend.

In Pinellas County, Florida, where The Penny Hoarder is located, the local bus system — Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority — is giving free rides on Sunday.

“We always try to do something to celebrate Earth Day,” said Ashlie Handy, an agency spokeswoman. “It encourages people to not drive their car for the day.”

People get off the bus in St. Petersburg, Fla.
On Earth Day, all Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority bus rides will be free, including at this stop in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Bloomington Transit in Bloomington, Indiana, is offering free bus rides Saturday — one day before th Day.

CitiBike riders in New York City can sign up for a free bike-share day pass Saturday. The city will restrict cars from driving down a 30-block stretch of Broadway (from Times Square to Union Square) that day, making it a perfect opportunity for bicycle riding.

People in Austin, Texas, can take advantage of free bicycle rides Saturday, courtesy of the Austin Transportation Department. Riders can use the code 42118 at any Austin B-cycle kiosk for a free ride all day.

The Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System will offer free bus rides Saturday and Sunday to Yosemite National Park in California.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority will give free rides on its bus and rail system Sunday. Metro Bike Share in Los Angeles will offer free 30-minute rides Sunday using the promo code 4222018 at any of its bike-share stations. After 30 minutes, bike rentals are $3.50 per half hour.

Check your local public transit system or bike-share company to see if there are any offers for free rides for Earth Day. Maybe it’ll change your outlook on your commuting choices or make you consider becoming a one-car household.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.