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Free MCAT service on 'Try Transit Day' hopes to promote public use

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MANATEE Co., Fla. (WWSB) – “Try Transit Day” is a free day of service on Manatee County Area Transit(MCAT) buses.

The purpose of this is to try and get the public to feel more comfortable on public transit.

MCAT will offer free fixed route rides throughout the service day, April 21, from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., including Route 99 service into Sarasota and the Skyway ConneXion limited stop, express service to Pinellas County.

The promotion is part of the Florida Department of Transportation’s public awareness campaign to encourage commuters to consider alternative modes of transportation, especially for work commutes, which typically involve one vehicle transporting only one person.

Transit Manager Bill Steele said Try Transit Day is a great way to highlight the benefits public transportation offers riders, including saving money on fuel, improving the environment by cutting down on carbon emissions and additional productive time on the commute to and from work.

“Each year Try Transit Day is one of our most popular promotions,” Steele said. “Public transit benefits the environment and it cuts down on vehicular traffic in our county. Regular transit use allows passengers to save fuel costs, auto insurance and maintenance expense, and relieve the stress from bumper to bumper traffic.”

Manatee County transit routes are now a part of Google Transit Maps, making route information available on all computers and smart phones with an Internet connection.

MCAT serves Bradenton, Ellenton, Palmetto, Rubonia and the gulf beach communities. Fixed route buses run 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Fares are $1.50 each way and a Daily Unlimited Ride bus pass is only $4. Passengers may pay using U.S. coins and currency, M-Card, or R-Card transit passes.

For information on MCAT routes and schedules visit http://www.mymanatee.org/mcat or call (941) 747-8621. To register for more information on car pools, transit, biking, walking and running as alternatives, visit www.commuterservicesFL.com