SOUTH COUNTY — Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) is improving its services and expanding facilities to South County while also looking for bus drivers.
“One of the things that has changed about MST is our service area has grown substantially,” said Hunter Harvath, assistant general manager. “It seems like every few years we’re adding a new extension, and we now serve one-fifth of the coast of California.”
MST is experiencing a big jump in ridership, according to Harvath, due to its military partnerships and free fares in Salinas on Saturday and Sunday.
The South Monterey County community will soon have a maintenance facility in King City thanks to a grant that MST received. According to Harvath, MST is currently working on the permits for the facility.
“Over 30 new buses will arrive later this year, so our long suburban coaches that travel long distances will be replaced,” said Harvath.
MST riders can also use the Real Time app on smart phones to find out where their bus is and how long until arrival.
The mobile app is connected to MST buses through GPS and sends information in English and Spanish.
MST recently completed a South County marketing campaign to increase awareness of services in the area. The campaign coincided with the 10th anniversary of introducing MST service to Gonzales and the rest of South County.
“We have funding to expand our roots, including wanting to do hourly service on line 23, but we can’t find well-qualified bus drivers,” Harvath said. “You don’t need to already know how to drive a bus. You need to have a driver’s license.”
MST provides bus driver training to qualified individuals. For more information, go to www.mst.org.