The City Express, a transportation program of Home Healthcare, Hospice and Community Services in Keene, will offer free rides on Thursday to celebrate Earth Day.

The offer is intended to encourage people to try public transit, according to Charlie Pratt, manager of transportation programs at HCS. “There may be people who have been curious about the red buses that are circulating around town, and want to try it out,” Pratt said. “There may also be others who were regular riders but took a hiatus during COVID. We want to encourage everyone to see how safe and convenient the service is.”

All vehicles are sanitized regularly, and shields have also been installed for safety. Masks and physical-distancing requirements continue to be in place on the buses.

The City Express operates Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with stops across the city, including downtown, at all major shopping centers and at the Cheshire Medical Center.

A new Shopping Shuttle also operates Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays with direct service to the West Street Shopping Center and Market Basket. Complete schedule information is available at www.cityexpress.org or by calling the City Express office at 352-8494.

The City Express is available to people of all ages. Regular fares are $1 a ride, and children 12 and under ride free when accompanied by an adult.