An MTS Rapid bus. Photo by Chris Jennewein

Graduating high school seniors at San Diego County schools have about seven weeks to submit an essay on the benefits of public transportation to the Metropolitan Transit System, for a chance to win a laptop computer.

The 13th annual contest, co-sponsored by Coca-Cola Refreshments of San Diego and the San Diego County Office of Education, asks college-bound seniors to write a 1,000-word essay outlining the pros and cons of using public transportation compared to a private vehicle.

The essay, along with photos and an application are due by midnight April 6. The MTS said photos can include things like selfies, vehicles, stations and infrastructure.

The sponsors will award Hewlett-Packard touch screen laptop computers to students who submit the top 40 entries.

“We like to encourage students to think critically about how transit can improve the community, and we also appreciate learning new perspectives about transit from younger riders,” said MTS CEO Paul Jablonski. “Each year we are pleased to see the level of research and thought they put in to their answers.”

Applications are available at or at The Transit Store at 1st and Broadway in downtown San Diego.

Completed applications and essays can be submitted via email to, or via mail or in-person addressed to MTS Scholarship, 1255 Imperial Ave., Suite 1000, San Diego, CA 92101.

Students who apply by March 23 will be entered into a drawing to win a 30-day transit pass, according to the MTS.

— City News Service

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