Google has announced today that it will donate $6.8 million to a program of San Francisco city for offering free municipal bus rides to kids.
The program is named as Free Muni for Youth and previously was being funded by city’s own government with a cost of $3 million per year. More than 30,000 kids and youth aged between 5-17 could San Francisco Municipal Railways and buses free under this program.
Before this announcement from Google, the board of directors of the service was considering if it can continue to fund the program or not. The mayor of San Francisco Ed Lee said in a statement:
“With this unprecedented gift from Google, 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.”
This announcement of donation from Google has come at an opportune time because Google has been recently under a lot of criticism from the city residents for using city bus stops without paying any fees. Google has said in a statement to tech blog The Verge:
“San Francisco residents are rightly frustrated that we don’t pay more to use city bus stops. So we’ll continue to work with the city on these fees, and in the meantime will fund Muni passes for low income students for the next two years.”