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Google's $6.8M donation to Free MUNI for Low-Income Youth program sets example for other tech firms

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(Credit: Reuters) Signs in opposition of technology companies are seen in San Francisco, California December 9, 2013.
Signs Against Tech Companies
March 1
1:36 PM 2014

The $6.8 million donation given by Google for San Francisco's Fee MUNI for Low-Income Youth program is an example of how the tech industry can help the communities that are being affected by the increasing wealth that comes with their presence in the city, TechCrunch reported.

The substantial gift, which the Office of the Mayor of San Francisco says is "one of the largest private contributions towards direct City services in San Francisco history," will be used to help fund the pilot program that provides free muni passes to over 31,000 low income youths in the city for at least a couple more years.

In the statement about the donation, Mayor Edwin M. Lee said, "Continuing to provide free Muni for thousands of young people from lower-income households will help make our City more affordable for working families. With this unprecedented gift from Google, we can keep this successful pilot program running for at least two more years at no cost to taxpayers or Muni riders and free up critical funds for other vital Muni maintenance and services. Google is demonstrating with real action and real resources that they are a true partner in addressing our City's affordability crisis for lower and middle-income families. I want to thank Google for this enormous gift to the SFMTA, and I look forward to continuing to work with this great San Francisco employer towards improving our City for everyone."

According to the TechCrunch report, a lot of people are angry at the tech industry although they are not solely the ones to blame for San Francisco's gentrification troubles. Poor city planning and bureaucracy also contributed to the problem brought about by tech companies moving to the area to capitalize on the venture capital and talent found there. However, this does not mean that the tech industry is not responsible for helping find a solution and Google's donation is a step towards that end, the report said.

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