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Valley Metro Buses Equipped with Free Wi-Fi

Saturday, March 22, 2014
By Eladio Jaimez

WiFiThere was something different about Frank Trevino’s recent Valley Metro bus ride from Brownsville to Texas State Technical College in Harlingen.

Earlier this month, all three bus routes that come to TSTC were equipped with a router on board in order to provide free Wi-Fi for the riders, the majority which are students like Trevino. Wi-Fi is a wireless access to the Internet.

The router, which is controlled by the bus driver, is located at the front of the bus. Passwords are provided to riders so they can use the free service on their way to and from school.

“Once you board the bus, they’ll give you the password if you need it,” said Trevino, a student in the Computer System Management Technology program. “I’m glad they’re providing this service.”

Federico Guzman was also happy to take advantage of the free Wi-Fi.

“Everyone is on the Internet all the time now and I think this is going to be utilized a lot by the students riding the bus to and from school,” Guzman said.

TSTC and Valley Metro Transit partnered up four years ago to provide transportation to the college from the mid and lower Valley and recently renewed their contract once again.

At the start of last year, Valley Metro announced that students, faculty and staff could ride the bus free of charge with proper identification.

The addition of Wi-Fi to the buses shows the transportation company and TSTC’s commitment to the students.

Vice President for Financial and Administrative Services Gisela Figueroa said the purpose of the partnership between TSTC and Valley Metro is making education accessible and the added free Wi-Fi supports that goal.

“Our students have enjoyed free transportation during the past year,” Figueroa said. “And this latest addition shows that TSTC is fully committed to helping our students.”

Figueroa said ridership increased by 57 percent in 2013 from the previous year from 38,681 riders in 2012 to 66,707 in 2013.

The latest contract between TSTC and Valley Metro includes three routes throughout Cameron County which directly serve the college.

Valley Metro Program Administrator Rodney Gomez said the service will get even better in the near future.

“We hope to grow even bigger in the coming years by introducing larger buses with more capacity and increasing our service area and service hours so that students have more connections on public transportation than ever before,” Gomez said. “We want students to ride in convenient, safe transportation that was designed from the ground up with them in mind.”

For more information on bus route, go to http://www.tstc.edu/harlingenstudents/valleymetro.

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