SacRT Buses Equipped with WiFi to Help with Distance Learning

May 1, 2020 SacRT in Community

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 went 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. Each bus will provide 3.5 hours of wireless broadband service at two locations each day, for a total of 140 locations each week.

High-need locations are 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 are providing 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.

Use the WiFi Bus App to Find a Bus 

As a community volunteer project, Sacramento-based SymsoftSolutions developed the WiFi Bus mobile app, which can be found in both the Apple App Store and Android Google Play. The WiFi Bus Sacramento app gives real-time updates on the location and availability of WiFi Buses. WiFi Bus Sacramento also has an offline mode that allows users to save map data for future sessions in between connectivity.

Learn How To Log On to the WiFi Bus

To get free internet access:

1. Open WiFi Settings and Choose the “WiFi Bus” network

2. Choose one of the following purposes when prompted:

  • School
  • Personal
  • Business

3. Click “Connect” and you will be automatically directed to the Sacramento Public Library home page for internet access

View the WiFi Bus Flyer as a PDF

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View the WiFi Bus Multi Language Brochure as a PDF

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