SacRT Buses Equipped with WiFi to Help with Distance Learning
SacRT has teamed up with the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) and the City of Sacramento to equip buses with free wireless hotspots in communities with limited high-speed internet access during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first three hotspots go live on Monday, May 4. Seven additional buses will be deployed to other “digital desert” communities across Sacramento beginning the week of May 11 to promote more opportunities for distance learning, telework and telehealth.
The 10 “WiFi Buses” are outfitted with combinations of equipment provided free of charge by project partners: Aruba, AT&T, Cradlepoint, Sierra Wireless, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless to offer free high-speed connectivity with a range of up to 1,800 feet. Buses will provide 3.5 hours of wireless broadband service at two locations each day.
High-need locations will be selected with input from local school districts, community organizations and digital divide research, as well as the ability for users to maintain physical distancing and follow public health guidelines. The Sacramento Public Library will provide bus parking at its branches and robust online resources for students to access when connected to the WiFi Bus network.
Governor Gavin Newsom announced the project on April 20 as part of the state’s efforts to support distance learning and close the digital divide during the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately one in five students in California lack high-speed internet access and nearly half of all low-income households in the state do not have broadband service at home.