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Want a free ride to work Tuesday? This fintech firm will foot the bill

Muni transit fare inspectors K. Mouton (left) and K. Justin (right) ask for proof of payment from passengers on a 14-Mission bus. | Paul Chinn/The SF Chronicle via Getty Images

A sustainable fintech company based in New York is giving everyone in the U.S. free public transit rides on Tuesday, Jan. 24th—and there’s only a slight catch. 

Card-holders who own a FutureCard Visa Debit Card can get their commutes paid for by fintech company, Future, for one day only. All you have to do is use the card when topping up your Clipper Card or paying for a ticket.

Local and commuter transit rides will be included in the promotion, including all Muni, BART and Caltrain transportation, meaning you could save a few dollars on your way to the office next week. 

Trains wait on tracks 5 and 6 for passengers at the Caltrain Station in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, July 18, 2019. Business leaders and transportation officials are putting together a sales tax ballot measure for next year that would generate billions for transportation infrastructure in the Bay Area. Top on their wish list is the downtown extension of Caltrain, with a tunnel running from the Mission Bay Area to the Transbay Terminal.
Trains at the Caltrain Station in San Francisco | Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The SF Chronicle via Getty Images | Source: Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

A Future representative says the promotion is not a partnership with SFMTA or other transportation authorities, but rather a company-sponsored promotion to encourage folks in the Bay Area to choose a greener commute. 

This is not the first time local public transit options will be free for environmental reasons. The city reimburses sustainable commuters—those who regularly travel on foot, bike, public transit or ride share—with emergency rides home, as part of the city's Climate Action Plan.

READ MORE: BART Set To Ax $6.40 ‘Excursion Fare’ for Riders

Future’s debit card is the latest in a growing movement of fintech companies looking to incentivize customers through their wallets. The company provides rewards to customers for choosing to spend their money on greener products and activities, such as riding on public transportation, thrifting secondhand clothes or eating plant-based protein. Future plans to offset carbon emissions by making greener, low-carbon products and services more financially accessible. 

“Many people get entranced by luxury credit cards that will reward you with hotels, vacations or flight points,” said Future head of partnerships and Oakland native Eunice Jung. “But the reality is that that’s not a sustainable way to shop. People are now becoming a lot more environmentally conscious with the way they shop, and they’re doing so with our debit card.”

Long-distance passenger railways and charter or tour buses will not be included in the promotion. 

Interested folks can sign up for the card on the company’s website, "pay" for rides as usual using the FutureCard, and on transit Tuesday the transaction amount will be reimbursed into customer accounts.