Bay Area Air District: Reduce Driving as Smog Season Begins

The Bay Area’s agency overseeing regional air quality announced the beginning of Spare the Air smog season Monday, encouraging residents to reduce or eliminate their commutes using personal vehicles.

Vehicles are one of the region’s largest sources of smog and greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

Vehicle traffic has also returned to pre-pandemic levels, according to BAAQMD officials.

“We are asking Bay Area residents to consider commute alternatives like working remotely, taking transit and walking or biking to work instead of driving alone to reduce harmful air pollution and traffic gridlock,” BAAQMD CEO Jack Broadbent said.

The district issues Spare the Air alerts when it expects unhealthy levels of ozone pollution, which can cause throat and lung irritation and congestion.

High pollution levels can also aggravate and worsen the effects of asthma, bronchitis and emphysema.

Residents are advised during Spare the Air alert periods to limit outdoor exercise in the late afternoons, when ozone pollution concentration is generally highest.

The district’s announcement Monday coincides with the beginning of Air Quality Awareness Week, a nationwide effort to encourage people to limit activities that increase air pollution.

People can find more information on Spare the Air alerts at or by calling 1.800.435.7247.


  1. Yeah…people can take transit from Lathrop, or have you never heard of ACE? Or even catching BART in Pleasanton/Dublin? It all depends on your job location, and peoples willingness to give up the convenience of having their vehicle at their beck and call. But if your work hours fall outside of transit options and you can’t work remotely, then driving is almost your only choice…unless you can manage to ride a bike 8 miles or so in less than 30 minutes.

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