As noted by The Verge, Google is donating $6.8 million to fund the Free Muni for Low Income Youth program that provides over 31,000 children in San Francisco with free access to transit. The donation will fund the program for approximately the next two years according to the report. The news follows controversies over Google’s impact on the housing market and other aspects of smaller San Francisco neighbourhoods in recent months, including protestors blocking buses that shuttle its employees from to and from its headquarters. The move is just one part of Google’s effort to please residents in the city that oppose its presence and call for it to make greater contributions to the city. Google provided the following statement to 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.”
Google also just gave the Mountain View city council a $500k grant to fund Wi-Fi networks at the city’s community center, library, teen center, senior center and Rengstorff Park. That donation is part of a deal that will see Google revamp its WiFi network in Mountain View.