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Local transit system celebrates 15 years

SOUTH COUNTY — Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) is celebrating its 15th anniversary of service to South County this year. Last Thursday, May, they set up a booth in the Gonzales Shopping Center next to the MST Bus Stop so that the riders on that day could hop off the bus and spin the prize-wheel they had on hand.

On that day, bus riders enjoyed free rides on local bus line 23, which connects King City and Salinas. With stops in Greenfield, Soledad, Gonzales and Chualar, the line serves all of South County.

Gonzales was the very first stop of MST in South County, but it took a while for the service to start. They only had one bus up, it was in the morning and the one trip back to Gonzales was in the evening, and that was it.

Gonzales Mayor Maria Orozco got her start in politics working to get service to South County. Over the years, service to South County has expanded immensely.

From just a couple trips a day in small buses, to several trips in the large new buses. It has also expanded to include buses to Fort Hunter Liggett and Paso Robles and also a bus to the San Jose Airport.

MST serves the roughly 280-square-mile area of Monterey County, including San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties, with 55 routes, and serves an estimated 428,826 people.

MST Community Relations Coordinator Beronica Carriedo was on hand that day at the Gonzales Shopping Center giving away pens, mugs, bus banks, coloring books and even monthly passes. Local radio Station KLOK 1170-AM was broadcasting from the Gonzales event.

In the coming days, “like” MST on Facebook and be eligible to win a free annual pass.

One of the biggest advances MST has made is their new transit app. Traveling with MST is easier with the free app, which finds your closest bus stop and gives real-time next bus arrivals. Find the app at or on your phone’s app store.

For more information, visit or call Monterey-Salinas Transit toll free at 1-888-MST-BUS1.