Governor Brian Sandoval declared Thursday "Nevada Dump the Pump Day," giving people the chance to save money and help the environment. This is the first time Nevada has participated in this campaign, but the Regional Transportation Commission has had free ride days before, seeing a spike in ridership. With high gas prices, RTC is seeing an increase in ridership.
"We're going to go down to the river and just kind of hang out and let the kids play for awhile and then we'll ride back up," Kristin Goff said.
Goff and her family are using public transit, for the first time, because of "Dump the Pump Day."
"Gas is really expensive, right now, and it saves money and it saves the environment," Goff said. "It was a good experience for my kids. They've never been on it before."
Fuel prices are falling but the state average is still $3.64 a gallon, to go along with vehicle maintenance, insurance, and registration costs. That money all adds up over time.
"For those people who use transit instead of driving a car, on average, they can save $10,000 a year," Michael Moreno said.
Moreno is the public information officer for RTC and says about 22,000 trips are taken every day, in the Truckee Meadows, with ridership rising 4% in the past year, totaling nearly 8-million trips.
"A lot of people are becoming more environmentally conscious and, at the same time, they're looking for ways to save and help their pocketbooks," Moreno said.
Along with riding the bus, today's campaign offers alternative ways to commute, like car pooling, riding your bike, or walking.
Edward Spaulding rides his bike from his home, near Idlewild Park, to the Fourth Street Station and rides a bus to Truckee Meadows Community College.
"When you're in your car, you're kind of like in a bubble, but when you're on the bus, you're outside, you get a little bit of nature, fresh air, you meet people," Spaulding said. "It's a really good experience."
Officials say riding the bus is also an important tool to get our economy back on track.
"Public transportation is an important, vital component for economic development because almost 50% of the people who ride the bus, ride it to get to and from work," Moreno said.
For the next ten days, RTC is also offering incentives for taking green trips.
If you record your trip online, you'll become eligible for prizes from RTC. Every "green trip" you record through July 31st will increase your chance of winning a prize.