Transportation Solutions

In the Kansas City area, and around the world, automobiles are one of the largest sources of air pollution. Transportation is a necessity of life: most of us use our cars to go to work or school, shop and run errands. Luckily, there are many ways you help can reduce air pollution and improve our air quality, from cutting back on your vehicle miles traveled to making a few minor changes to your driving routine.

Transportation Options

Carpool

When you share a ride with just one other person, you cut your air pollution emissions in half — and it saves you money on gas and parking! MARC’s RideshareKC program offers free online carpool matching and helpful tips to get started with carpooling.

Vanpool

RideKC Van coordinates vanpool services in Jackson, Johnson, Wyandotte, Clay, Platte, Leavenworth and Cass counties in the Kansas City region. To join or start a vanpool, visit the RideKC Van webpage and fill out the interest form. Vanpool members pay a low monthly fare, based on the cost of operating the van. Call 1‑800‑VAN‑RIDE (826‑7433) for more information.

Ride the bus

If you live farther than walking distance from work, using a monthly bus pass will almost certainly cut your commuting costs. Check with your human resources representative to find out if your workplace subsidizes bus passes. For information on bus routes, visit RideKC.

Bike or walk

The Kansas City area has a great system of bicycle and pedestrian routes and trails that are perfect for shorter trips. Not only are these trips emissions-free, but they also improve fitness. For a free regional bike map, call 816-842-RIDE.

If you are looking for a convenient and fun way to get around Kansas City, Missouri, consider bike sharing through B-cycle. Signing up is easy. Just purchase a membership online or at a B-station, pick up a bike, and return to a B-station near your final destination.

Quinton's Clean Air-Venture: Bike More, Breathe Easier.

Go multi-modal

Sometimes your route is just too far to bike or there are too many bus transfers to make your route timely. You can take advantage of the Park-and-Ride bus stops. Or, you can use the convenient bike racks on all Metro and JO buses to bike and bus.

Quinton's Clean Air-Venture: Flight School

On the Road

Refuel in the evening

Heat and sunlight convert gas fumes into ground-level ozone. You can reduce ozone pollution by refueling in the evening. This gives gas vapors a chance to dissipate overnight, making it less likely that they’ll contribute to ozone the following day.

Stop at the click

Overfilling your gas tank increases the likelihood of spills and can damage your car’s emission controls. Remove the nozzle from your gas tank when it shuts off automatically.

Drive friendly

Speeding, rapid acceleration and hard braking can lower your gas mileage by as much as 5 percent in town and 33 percent on the highway.

Drive Smart, Breathe Easy
Drive Smart, Breathe Easy

stop idling, save more

If your car isn’t moving for more than 30 seconds, turn off your engine! You’ll save money on gas and prevent volumes of car exhaust, which contributes to local air pollution, from being emitted into the air.

Trip chain

If you have several places to which you need to drive, plan ahead and make one big loop instead of a bunch of separate smaller trips.

Quinton's Clear Air-Venutre: Short Trips, Big Impacts

Avoid excess loads

For every extra 100 pounds you haul in your car, you’ll reduce your gas mileage by 1 to 2 percent.

Use the cruise

Maintaining a constant speed with cruise control will help conserve fuel. Using overdrive gears will also save gas by slowing engine speed and reducing engine wear.

Check the air in your tires

Keeping tires properly inflated can improve your gas mileage by 3 percent — or about 18 gallons of gas per year for the average driver.

Replace old filters

Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your gas mileage by 10 percent, or about 55 gallons per year. Be sure to check all filters (oil, gas, and air) regularly and make sure they remain in good condition.

Have regular tune-ups

This will save you an average of 4 percent, or about 23 gallons per year. Never ignore a check engine or other warning light.

Make simple replacements

Switching to a newer gas cap can save you 30 gallons per year.

Check all fluids regularly and change them according to your owner’s manual

Simply using the correct weight of oil can save you 1–2 percent, or 9 gallons per year.

Quiz your mechanic

He or she should be familiar with modern emission control systems.

Quinton's Clean Air-Venture: Car Maintenance

Emissions Clinics

Emissions clinics include a brief courtesy inspection and a test of your vehicle’s tailpipe emissions. Tests take less than 15 minutes.

Gas-cap testing uses a device to determine if your vehicle’s gas cap is adequately sealing. Tests take less than 30 seconds.

The MARC Air Quality Program works with partners to provide voluntary emissions-testing and gas-cap testing clinics across the region, FREE of charge.

Why participate in these tests?

Both tests are designed to save consumers money and reduce pollution by identifying vehicles that may be in need of simple maintenance.

Replacing a leaky gas cap for less than $20 can save as much as a gallon of gas every 15 days, and early diagnosis of engine-performance issues can help prevent serious engine problems that can wind up costing hundreds of dollars. Less wasted gas and more efficient vehicles also equal cleaner air.

Upcoming clinics

Emissions clinics will take place at the following times and locations.

  • July 1, 8 a.m.–noon — Smithville High School, Smithville, MO map
  • Aug. 19, 8 a.m.–noon — Platte Ridge Park, Platte County/Weston/Platte City, MO map
  • Sept. 9, 8 a.m.–noon — Johnson County, KS map
  • Sept. 16, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. — 2443 South 88th Street, Unified Government of Wyandotte County, KS map
  • Oct. 7, 8 a.m.–noon — 34900 E Old US Highway, Oak Grove, MO map

Idle-free Zones

What is idling?

“Idling” means running your engine when your car isn’t moving. Most of the time idling isn’t necessary, and it can have negative effects on the environment — and your health.

Why shouldn’t I idle?

Exhaust contributes to the formation of ozone pollution, which can cause eye, nose and throat irritation and, in higher concentrations, asthma, bronchitis and decreased lung function.

Long-term exposure to air pollutants, like vehicle emissions, increases the risk of respiratory illnesses, such as allergies, asthma and lung cancer.

What can I do?

Promote an anti-idling policy at your child’s school or at schools in your area. The AirQ Program provides free “Idle-Free Zone” signs FREE to any school in the Kansas City metro area. Call 816-474-4240 or email AirQ to learn more.Turn off your engine when parked, and encourage friends and family to do the same. You can also: Encourage a local business to join KC Idle-Free, a metro-wide partnership of organizations dedicated to reducing auto emissions by decreasing idling. Download information below!

Tool Kits

Looking for idling materials? Contact AirQ or download and use these.

Breathe Easy Tool Kit for Businesses

Idle free Zones Tool kit for Schools

Additional Resources