COLUMBIA — City buses will run for free on Saturday as Columbia Transit participates in Earth Hour, a global event that promotes a reduced environmental impact.
The free rides will include all city buses, including FastCAT and Paratransit services, according to a Columbia Public Works Department news release.
Earth Hour is an annual event that encourages people to switch off lights and home electronics from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. local time. This staggered electronic shutdown is meant to create a wave of darkness that circles the globe. Participants are encouraged to "go beyond the hour" by applying the principle of the event to their daily lives, according to the city's website.
Last year, Columbia Water and Light estimated that the city reduced its electricity usage by 2 megawatts during Earth Hour. That's the the equivalent of 80 homes forgoing electricity for the entire day, according to the city's Earth Hour website.
Columbia riders also received free bus rides on March 20 to mark the city's Earth Hour kick-off event.
Supervising editor is Ted Hart.