MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION) Monterey-Salinas Transit has been working with the Monterey County Office of Education and several area school districts to send buses equipped with WiFi to neighborhoods in need of internet access, and it is adding new stops.
The buses allow students and their families to drive up to a location and use WiFi to download distance learning content while staying in their vehicles.
Starting Monday, MST will serve these new locations:
- Mary Chapa School in Greenfield at 490 El Camino Real, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
- Oak Avenue School in Greenfield at 1239 Oak Avenue, Monday through Froday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- La Paz Middle School in Salinas at 1300 N. Sanborn Road, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- La Paz Middle School in Salinas at 1300 N. Sanborn Road, Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
The buses will continue to serve these locations:
- Salinas Valley Fairgrounds in King City at 625 Division Street, Monday through Thursday from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
- 425 Gabilan Drive in Soledad, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- 441 Main Street in Soledad, Monday through Thursday from 1 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
- YMCA in Soledad at 560 Walker Drive, Monday through Thursday from 3:15 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Jimenez Camp McCoy Road in Soledad, Thursdays and Fridays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
- Salinas Valley Fairgrounds in King City at 625 Division Street, Monday through Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Salinas Valley Fairgrounds in King City at 625 Division Street, Fridays from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, school closures have left thousands of Monterey County students moving distance learning, but that can cause problems for families who do not have internet access.
"As we work to ensure high-quality distance learning for all and are planning for the possibility of extended and/or repeated school closures, we know that an Internet connection is a lifeline and a learning link for our students," said Dr. Denen Guss, Monterey County Superintendent of Schools. “We are thankful to MST for their partnership to bring connectivity to our students when they need it most. We are also thankful to community member, Mary Ann Leffel for bringing the idea to us.”
The Office of Education said it hopes to announce more locations in the future.