spare the air | 511 Contra Costa - Part 2

Tuesday, 9/28 is Spare the Air Day

Today is Spare the Air Day in the Bay Area, making it the 4th day in a row the Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued a smog alert.
If you’ve never tried carpooling, taking transit, or any alternative form of transportation, here’s your chance to earn some rewards. It’s a win-win for you and the environment! Here’s just a sample of what we have to offer those willing to help the cause:

For a full list of ongoing promotions, visit our promos page.
Read more

This Week’s Headlines in Transportation & Transit: Sept. 18-24, 2010

Spare the Air alerts Wednesday through Friday, Sept. 1-3, 2010

Wednesday September 1st, is Spare the Air day in the Bay Area, as issued by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Update: Thursday, September 2nd and Friday, September 3rd will also have a Spare the Air alerts in effect.
Please consider:

For more information about air quality, visit our air quality page, download our free iSmog application for iPhone or visit Spare the Air.

Second Spare the Air Day Issued for Bay Area

Today, Tuesday August 24th, is a Spare the Air day in the Bay Area, making today the second smog day issued in two days by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. On summer Spare the Air days, ground-quality ozone–or smog–levels are expected to be unhealthy and residents are encouraged to cut back on activities that generate pollution. If you are sensitive to unhealthy air, please limit your time outdoors, especially during the afternoon hours.
For more information about air quality, visit our air quality page, download our free iSmog application for iPhone or visit Spare the Air.

Today is Spare the Air day in the San Francisco Bay Area

Today, Monday August 23rd is Spare the Air day.
Concentrations of ground-level ozone pollution are forecast to be unhealthy today due to the combination of hot temperatures and light winds, resulting in poor air quality for the Bay Area.
To help prevent smog today, please:

To monitor current air quality conditions, visit our air quality page, download our free iSmog application for iPhone or visit Spare the Air.

Spare the Air Commuter Chronicles Contest – Win a $579 bike or Clipper card loaded with $100

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is searching for Bay Area residents to share their commuting stories in its Commuter Chronicles video contest. Tell them why and how you Spare the Air during your commute — whether you carpool, take public transit, telecommute, bike or walk to work or get even more creative. Help inform fellow commuters and you just might win:

For your chance to win, record a 60-second or less video showcasing how you help “Spare the Air” and submit it to the Spare the Air YouTube channel.
Continue reading “Spare the Air Commuter Chronicles Contest – Win a $579 bike or Clipper card loaded with $100”

What’s New in the World of Electric Vehicles

As we mentioned earlier this week, the Bay Area will receive $5 million for electric vehicle charging stations as part of the Spare the Air program. This should be welcome news indeed for any current electric vehicle owners or to those considering making the switch. One of the current deterrents to going electric is the fact that a fully charged battery may only withstand short journeys (typically up to 100 miles). More charging stations would provide drivers with more flexibility and help to reduce anxiety- more charging stations would mean that a battery could charge while a driver is at work or out and about fulfilling errands.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD)’s approval for funding is just one of many signs that the electric vehicle movement is not far from appealing to a wider audience. President Obama has demonstrated his interest in the subject by not only visiting a Kansas electric manufacturer in July, but also by test driving a Chevy Volt, a new hybrid, a couple of weeks ago. Other companies, such as BMW and Renault, are working to develop sportier and highly durable models, which would show that electric cars will not always be left in the dust of their gas-dependent counterparts.
Soon many more people will have the ability to try out electric vehicles for themselves. Car rental companies, like Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Hertz, will begin offering the Nissan Leaf, a fully electric car, to customers in certain cities early next year.
California based startups are also getting in on the Electric Vehicle, otherwise known as  EV, action. California’s Zero Emission Vehicle program allows smaller companies to sell zero emission credits to larger companies. The longer an EV can travel on zero emissions, the more credits it’s worth. One such startup is CODA, which aims to make EVs more readily available and affordable to drivers around the world.
Getting excited yet? We certainly are. If you’d like to learn more about purchasing an EV or a hybrid we highly recommend that you visit DriveClean, which offers a buying guide and tools for measuring smog and global warming scores.
Have you or any of your friends gone electric? If so, please share your experiences with us in the comments!

This Week’s Headlines in Transportation & Transit: May 1 – 7, 2010

Upcoming Events & Meetings

For more events, visit
Local News (Contra Costa County & East Bay)

Bay Area & California News

Follow 511CC on Twitter or Like us on Facebook to receive additional updates and the latest 511CC promotions, along with entering yourself to win a $25 gift card to Peet’s Coffee & Tea!

Spare the Air Smog season begins for Bay Area (2010)

On Monday, May 3, 2010, Spare the Air announced the beginning of Smog season for the Bay Area. During the summer months, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District will issue Spare the Air Smog Alerts when the air quality forecast is considered to be unhealthy.
For more information about air pollution in the Bay Area, visit the Spare the Air website at You can also get air quality information and Spare the Air alerts delivered to your mobile device by downloading our free iPhone application, iSmog.

This Week’s Headlines in Transportation & Transit: Feb. 27 – Mar. 5, 2010

Local News

Bay Area and California News

For these headlines, transit promos and more, follow 511 Contra Costa on Twitter!

Spare the Air Alert Ends for the 2009-2010 Winter Season

[Photo by mattboschetti]

On February 28, 2010 the Winter Spare the Air season ended. Winter Spare the Air alerts will resume beginning November 1, 2010. After this day, it will be illegal to burn wood during Winter Spare the Air alerts.
However, residents who do burn in a fireplace our outdoor fire pit must still burn cleanly using dry seasoned firewood and not burn garbage, leaves or other material that would cause excessive smoke. Residents who exceed the excessive visible smoke provision in the wood burning rule could still be subject to an air district ticket or fine. For more information about the Wood-Burning Rule, visit Spare the Air’s official website.
Related: Read more about iSmog for iPhone, a free application that delivers Spare the Air alerts to your phone. The application also displays air quality information for all five Bay Area air basins.

Monitor Air Quality in the Bay Area with iSmog – a free application for iPhone

The effects of particle pollution are serious. According to the American Lung Association, the particles are so small they bypass the body’s natural defenses and lodge deep in the lungs. Click here to view a short video clip on particle pollution.
However, the good news is that Spare the Air regulation does work in the Bay Area. According to Jack Broadbent, executive officer for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District:

Fine particles in wood smoke produce the same kinds of health effects as diesel exhaust pollution.

Continue reading “Monitor Air Quality in the Bay Area with iSmog – a free application for iPhone”

Monitor Bay Area Air Quality With Our iSmog iPhone Application

511 Contra Costa is proud to announce the release of its very first iPhone app – iSmog!

iSmog displays air quality information for the San Francisco Bay Area. With just a tap of the screen, users will see an easy-to-understand map of environmental quality in the Bay Area’s five air basins, built using data provided by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD). With this information, commuters can make more informed choices about environmentally friendly transportation options, and members of sensitive groups will be better able to stay abreast of information that can be, literally, life-or-death.

Push notification alerts users with allergies or other environmental sensitivities when the air contains unhealthy levels of contaminants including ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and two sizes of particulate matter, all precursors of ozone. Notifications can be customized by level of sensitivity and by geographic area.

Read more about iSmog here:


Spare the Air Day delclared for Friday, Jan 30, 2009

winter-spare-the-airFriday, January 30, 2009 has been officially declared a “Spare the Air” day.

“Air quality in the Bay Area is forecast to be unhealthy. It is illegal for Bay Area residents and businesses to burn wood and manufactured firelogs in fireplaces, wood stoves and inserts, pellet stoves, and outdoor fire-pits. This wood-burning ban will be in effect for Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, southern Sonoma and southwestern Solano Counties.”

For more info, visit