CUTTING DOWN ON EMISSIONS: The French are on a mission to curb air pollution. Image: iStock
Paris - Paris has temporarily barred half of all cars from traveling on city streets and made public transportation free for the day as it battles a peak in pollution.
Facing red-alert levels of pollution since November 30, Paris City Hall said the situation poses a significant risk to residents' health.
Authorities say pollution is due to weather conditions and a heavy dependence on diesel fuel.
To tackle what City Hall describes as an "exceptionally serious" crisis, Paris's Velib bike-share and Autolib electric cars were made free on Tuesday December 6), as well as the Paris metro and bus services.
READ: No diesels need apply: Electric cars rule at 2016 Paris motor show
In addition, only cars with even-numbered plates were allowed to drive Tuesday in the French capital and its close suburbs.
City officials say it's the ninth time this year that Paris is facing a pollution peak.