Feeds

Google coughs up $6.8m for FREE BUSING for San Francisco youth

Not on Google's fancy buses, mind you. On the ordinary kind

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Google, which has drawn criticism in San Francisco for using public bus stops to pick up passengers for its private employee buses, will donate $6.8m to fund a program that offers low-income youth free rides on the city's Muni public transport system.

The Free Muni for Low Income Youth program is open to youth ages 5 through 17 whose families earn less than the median income for the San Francisco Bay Area (which varies with the size of the family). Participants are granted a free electronic bus pass that grants unlimited rides on the city's buses, streetcars, trains, and iconic cable cars.

Ordinarily, a similar youth pass would cost $23 per month, while the comparable adult pass runs $66 per month.

The program was launched a year ago and so far has been paid for with city funds, with $6.6m earmarked for the first 16 months. An estimated 22,000 San Franciscans had signed up for the program by the time it launched in March 2013.

"With this unprecedented gift from Google," San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement, "we can keep this successful pilot program running for at least two more years at no cost to taxpayers or Muni riders and free up critical funds for other vital Muni maintenance and services."

According to San Francisco schools superintendent Richard Carranza, "well over half" of the city's 56,000 public school students could qualify for the program, which was launched partly in response to the San Francisco school district's decision to reduce the use of traditional yellow school buses.

Muni has also found that residents who use public transport as youth are likely to keep using it, and 45 per cent of Free Muni for Low Income Youth participants say they plan to use the service as adults.

While Google's gift earned universal praise from city officials, however, Supervisor Scott Weiner cautioned that even such a large donation won't be the end of the matter.

"Now, we need to make sure that when the two-year program ends, we have sustainable long-term funding identified so that Muni's operating budget isn't impacted in the future," Weiner said. "We have two years to achieve that goal." ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.