Drive Smart


While the MSRC provides Clean Transportation Funding to support a variety of emission reduction programs, you can take steps every day to reduce the amount of pollution that you generate as you commute to work or travel around the Southland. Whether it’s buying a cleaner, more efficient car when you’re in the market for a new vehicle, taking better care of the car you drive today, changing the way you drive, or taking advantage of commuter assistance programs like ridesharing, telecommuting and the Freeway Service Patrol, you can help improve air quality and save money on gasoline in the process.

Make single-occupancy vehicle travel more efficient

Finding alternative fuel stations

The Alternative Fueling Station Locator enables drivers to find alternative fueling stations in the United States and Canada, and can be filtered by fuel type and public/private stations.

 The California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition provides a natural gas fueling station map for California, Arizona and Nevada and can be searched by city, public/private stations, and types of vehicles serviced.

Consumer tips for saving fuel
Vehicle maintenance:

  • Keep your vehicle well maintained with regular servicing
  • Inflate tires to the maximum recommended pressure – this can improve gas mileage by as much as 6%
  • Reduce extra weight by cleaning out trunk or truck bed – every 200 pounds of unnecessary weight shaves one mile per gallon off your fuel economy
  • Use the recommended grade of motor oil
  • Use the right grade of gas – don’t use premium blends unless your car requires them
  • Don’t top off

Drive differently:

  • Accelerate gradually
  • Avoid sudden braking
  • Don’t speed – gas mileage declines rapidly above 60mph, each 5mph above 60mph is like paying an additional 10 cents per gallon
  • Maintain steady speeds - take advantage of the cruise control
  • Minimize the amount of time your vehicle idles
  • Combine trips; avoid peak rush hours
  • Use the air conditioner conservatively – operating an air conditioner in hot weather can increase fuel usage by 20%; however, when on the freeway, close your windows and use the A/C. Having windows open at high speeds reduces your vehicle’s operating efficiency
  • Avoid carrying items on your vehicle’s roof

Long-term investments in fuel economy:

More Tips

AAA Gas Watcher’s Guide: Tips for Conserving Fuel, Saving Money and Protecting the Environment

Bureau of Automotive Repair’s Consumer Assistance Program

Fuel economy information, including car comparisons, gas mileage tips, alternative fuel vehicles, and tax incentives from the U.S. Department of Energy

Incentives for clean fuel vehicles

Clean Vehicle Rebate Project
The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, funded by the California Air Resources Board, promotes clean vehicle adoption in California by offering rebates from $1,000 to $7,000 for the purchase or lease of new, eligible zero-emission vehicles, including electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and fuel cell vehicles.

Credits for New Clean Vehicles Purchased in 2023 or After
You may qualify for a credit up to $7,500 under the Internal Revenue Code Section 30D if you buy a new, qualified plug-in EV or fuel cell electric vehicle. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 changed the rules for this credit for vehicles purchased from 2023 to 2032.
Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit
Beginning on January 1, 2023, eligible fueling equipment for natural gas, propane, hydrogen, electricity, E85, or diesel fuel blends containing a minimum of 20% biodiesel, is eligible for a tax credit of 30% of the cost or 6% in the case of property subject to depreciation, not to exceed $100,000. Consumers who purchase qualified residential fueling equipment between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2032, may receive a tax credit of up to $1,000.
Alternative Fuel Excise Tax Credit
Through December 31, 2024, a tax incentive is available for alternative fuel that is sold for use or used as a fuel to operate a motor vehicle in the amount of $.0.50 per gallon for the following alternative fuels: natural gas, liquified hydrogen, propane, P-Series fuel, liquid fuel derived from coal through the Fischer-Tropsch process, and compressed or liquefied gas derived from biomass.

Other sources of information on incentives for AFV
Alternative Fuels Data Center
U.S. Department of Energy Financing and Incentives
ARB Drive Clean website
California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Partnership

Driver Assistance Programs

Increasing the use of alternative modes of transportation to get to work and major event centers is critical to reducing air pollution and traffic congestion, and improving the quality of life for everyone. Programs like ridesharing, telecommuting, the Freeway Service Patrol, and special transportation services to major event centers cut down on the number of miles that people need to travel solo and the amount of time people spend stuck in traffic generating harmful emissions from their vehicles.

Gasoline and diesel powered vehicles account for 75 percent of the smog-forming emissions in Southern California and 94 percent of the carcinogenic risk associated with air toxics. Driving one mile creates about one pound of carbon dioxide, so by sharing the ride with at least three other people, you could reduce your carbon footprint to less than a quarter-pound of CO2 per mile.
Ridesharing resources
LA Metro Rideshare/Shared Mobility
OCTA Rideshare
SBCTA Commuter Services
SCAG Ridesharing and On-Demand Shuttles

Telecommuting, or telework, offers people a way to work without traveling to a traditional office. Teleworkers are employed individuals who work at home or other nearby location instead of traveling to their usual place of work on any given day. Working remotely can directly reduce mobile source emissions by eliminating the daily work commute. Eliminating a trip made by a single-occupant vehicle cuts back on gas consumption, thereby reducing both air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from that vehicle, alleviates roadway congestion, and reduces emissions associated with idling and stop-and-go traffic by taking cars off the road.
Telecommuting resources

California State Telework Guide

Freeway Service Patrol
The Freeway Service Patrol is a free service offered to stranded motorists to help keep traffic moving and safely deal with disabled vehicles. Funded by state and regional agencies, the FSP provides drivers with a battery jump start, a gallon of gas if a car runs out, a tire change for flats, and other minor services. If the FSP can’t get a vehicle started, they will tow the car to the nearest approved facility. By moving stalled cars quickly, the FSP helps improve air quality by keeping traffic flowing, which cuts down on the harmful emissions caused by vehicles idling waiting for the road to clear.

FSP Services
Los Angeles County
Orange County
Riverside County
San Bernardino County