(cjmartin/Flickr)

San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency approved a pilot program on Tuesday to regulate controversial private commuter shuttle services in the city, including buses chartered by tech companies like Google and Apple. The city will now charge $1 per stop in a public bus stop. But the decision did not appease some critics of the buses, which have become symbols of income inequality amid the tech boom.

Guests:
Tim Redmond, editor for 48Hills.org, a new online publication covering San Francisco, and former executive editor of the San Francisco Bay Guardian
C.W. Nevius, metro columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle

  • thucy

    $1 per stop? If it were any cheaper, the City of San Francisco would be paying Google to block its bus stops.

    This is just one more indication that San Francisco has no center, no “there” there: They would never allow this in New York where public bus stops and public transport is recognized as priority.

    If this were happening in the boroughs of New York, the little old Italian and Jewish and Korean ladies would already have assaulted the private Google buses with their canes. As any self-respecting citizen should protest a corporate entity slowing down proper, responsible public transportation with its luxury “members only” private buses. I hate to tell you the fate of the meretricious Board of Supes if they tried to pull this garbage off in New York, where the citizens are organized and aware. San Francisco… nothing but a giant hipster shopping mall, to paraphrase Tom Wolfe.

  • thucy

    Re: Nevius
    Does anybody actually read The San Francisco Chronicle, immortalized as a joke newspaper in “All The President’s Men”?

    What is a columnist? Is a columnist someone like Jimmy Breslin, who for all his faults is still writing about ordinary working men and women, white, black Asian, Latino? A man like Breslin who, for his investigative journalism, was nearly beaten to death by the Lucchese crime family? Or is a columnist someone like C.W. Nevius, who writes “breezy” stories about the America’s Cup, and who never saw a gold ring he didn’t want to kiss, a shiny boot of power he didn’t wish to kneel before? The Chronicle is still a joke, and C.W. Nevius is the Andrea Peyser of San Francisco’s newspaper “world”, such as it is.

  • Another Mike

    By state law, buses operated as a common carrier in local transportation are entitled to stop in bus stops. “Common” carrier status does not require them to carry anyone and everyone.

  • Another Mike

    That recently-released study done by two Berkeley grad students showed that, absent the shuttles, 48% of bus riders would drive, and a further 15% would carpool.

  • thucy

    Nevius: “public transportation? that horse left the barn long ago…”

    Right, so why bother? This Nevius guy is an unparalleled stooge.

  • Doug F

    Any anger on this subject should be directed towards the incompetent, inefficient, corrupt and thieving management of Muni. A bunch who are incapable of even identifying a problem, never mind solving one. I’ve lived in the area since ’71, and this has never changed. If SF residents cared about this, they would have thrown the bums out long ago.

  • campfiregirl

    Transportation should be public and generally available but I agree that housing is the bigger problem. San Francisco cannot house and employ everyone in the Bay Area. South Bay cities need to provide many more housing and neighborhood options and corporations should contribute to providing this housing through taxes.

    • thucy

      Campfire Girl:
      The two issues, housing and transit, are tightly linked. In normal cities, there’s a concept called “public policy planning” that addresses the linked issues. Here, there is not.

      • campfiregirl

        I agree completely! It drives me crazy that we are talking about transportation in a vacuum. It is also a regional issue that San Francisco can’t solve alone.

  • Another Mike

    The real question is why so many young techies want to live in SF, and the answer is that it is a Disneyland for adults. Make SF less attractive, get rid of the entertainment centers, the bars, clubs, etc. Move the Giants to San Jose, etc.

    • 1zzy

      I don’t think Tech people go to Giants games.

      • Another Mike

        I know plenty who live in easy walking distance. In those towers just south of I-80.

      • Steve Rhodes

        Lots of tech people go to Giants games

    • Joe

      Here is the reason: The gender ratio in the Valley is harsh. There are far too many single male “brogrammers” and, truth be told, those males largely don’t appeal to women because they are often arrogant dix or have no communication skills. So they move to SF, where they tend to become worse people, but there are at least more gold diggers in SF to cater to them. Know you this, for it is the truth.

  • Another Mike

    The Berkeley study also showed that 73% of SF techie bus riders already own cars.

    • Jens Emil Ravn Nielsen

      This is very relevant. 🙂

      • Another Mike

        The buses are indeed taking a great many cars off the road, because almost 3/4 of their riders could drive to work any morning they chose.

        • Jens Emil Ravn Nielsen

          I take back my comment. I thought you were postulating that they should get off the buses and use their cars.

  • Cynthia

    In the Commission on the Environment Policy Meeting, Carli Paine of the SFMTA said that other cities were looking to San Francisco for leadership on this. However, I understand that Seattle doesn’t allow tech/biotech buses to use public infrastructure. I would like to see the tech companies pay an impact fee for how they impact transit, housing and congestion. They should also stay out of Muni stops and use pre-designated stops (like parking lots).

    • Another Mike

      Where do Golden Gate Transit buses stop? SamTrans buses? The 40 foot buses that the Academy of Art operates? The casino buses, the airport buses, etc?

      • Jens Emil Ravn Nielsen

        All over. Many of the stops are not even marked with a sign. Corners by some of the campus buildings are unmarked spots.

      • Steve Rhodes

        Golden Gate, SamTrans, and ACTransit are all public transit, and there are signs for the stops and symbols on the bus shelters.

        • Another Mike

          Why are those foreign bus lines allowed to stop in SF? Does SF charge them $1 for every time they stop?

          • Steve Rhodes

            They aren’t “foreign bus lines” – they are part of a regional transit system

          • Another Mike

            What makes those out-of-county bus systems more “part of a regional transit system” than the traditional passenger stage carriers?

            Realize that Muni competed with private carriers for decades, even down Market Street.

          • Steve Rhodes

            Because they are part of the nine county Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

          • Another Mike

            No, they are not. Cities and counties are, the federal DOT is. But not the public transit companies.

    • rematrav

      Seattle doesn’t allow Google to use public infrastructure? That’s silly and not true. Should we prevent UPS, FedEx, all the food and beverage delivery trucks, auto delivery trucks from using our streets?

  • Swapnil

    A public transport will help the public, in general, but may not serve the purpose of taking the company shuttles off. These shuttles are wifi equipped and VPN enabled. The employees want to be able to work on company confidential projects. I have been a BART commuter in the past, and my company had specifically asked me not to work during commute for the fear of company confidential information being out in the open.

  • Don

    The issue is that the bay area has shifted from sf downtown being the central hub of the region to the sprawl of San Jose. The unmetered sprawling growth of the south bay with public transport and regular driving access being afterthoughts.

    There should be centralized planning I take a shuttle from glen park Bart. And to have these giants buses which can’t make the turns in the city and make pollution and disrupt traffic. They need to go to go to a central area and let the buses pick them up there. There is no reason this gaigantic buses should be traveling through residential neighborhoods.

  • Peter Brown

    Commenters are correct that attacks on Google buses and their riders are NOT class warfare. Class warfare is waged between classes, not by one set of workers against others, and tech workers are part of our working class. Class warfare would be directed against the corporations that are draining all resources from our society.

    No one has yet mentioned the housing elephant in the room; hedge funds are speculating in foreclosed homes, buying them up in massive amounts and securitizing them, and consciously driving up rents astronomically all over the country.

    Peter, Oakland

  • Raja

    How dare someone say taking office bus is an entitlement? Anyone can get a job in one of those companies and enjoy the perks. Entitlements are something people expect by default. Google is not delivering me perks at home. I am working for them and so they are providing transportation. Public transportation will never work for commuters because to reach a BART 9 miles away I have to take a bus for 45min.
    If you want more money out of these shuttles then make your arguments against the companies. But don’t say the employees are entitled and are moochers.

    • Another Mike

      Public transit options in the South Bay are severely limited. The VTA buses go back to the barn by 7 PM, and Caltrain runs once an hour, ending at 10. During hockey season, this last train is typically held back till the end of the Sharks’ game.

    • Paul Spiegel

      “Anyone can get a job in one of these companies . . . ?” OK. Sure. If you say so. Where do I sign?

      • Jens Emil Ravn Nielsen

        Well, like the people who currently hold jobs there, you do have to qualify yourself through appropriate education and relevant experience. Have a good interview and convince them that they want to hire you. Anyone can go through that process if they want to. Don’t get all sassy pants just because you don’t work there. Pursue the job that you want and don’t complain about others who have made different choices.

      • xingfenzhen

        jobs.google.com
        http://www.facebook.com/careers/
        jobs.yahoo.com

        if people from 3rd world countries can work hard and study hard to get those jobs and ride those buses, you can too. If you expect to do no work, goof off in school and expect things to fall out of the sky as an adult, THAT is entitlement.

        • Joe

          Are you really that clueless?
          These companies strongly prefer people from 3rd world countries over Americans.
          These people are more eager to help companies move jobs overseas, and more willing to break laws whenever the NSA asks their employers to do so.

    • Steve Rhodes

      There are many people who have commutes on public transit longer than 45 minutes plus a BART ride. And cutbacks to buses have made the commutes even longer for some workers.

      • Another Mike

        Then they should move closer to their work — is that not the constant theme here?

  • stuartblair

    Ideologically, I’m a supporter of public transport and a Bart rider, but given the union intransigence that held Bart hostage for prolonged periods last year, I can see why Google have taken it upon themselves to solve this problem in a way that avoids transit authorities.

    • Joe

      Did it ever occur to you that these tech giants are rich enough to buy or rent buildings in SF? There is no need for the 100s of buses to even come to the city, when these rich corporations can easily relocate to the city, as many tiny, relative poor startups have done. As usual, the corporations are abusing the situation and the public is getting shafted.

      • Jens Emil Ravn Nielsen

        Has it occurred to you that these “tech giants” might think that, a) it would be an enormous waste of resources to buy property in the city and, b) they are supporting talented employees that are moving to places they have always wanted to live but could not afford until now, because they now have high enough income.

        • Joe

          So as always the big corporations, which are run by psychopaths, externalize all their costs onto the public and ruin the environment in the process. Companies this bad have no right to exist. They have turned SF into a playground for ugly narcissists called brogrammers, and covered the city in smog created by their buses, because the corporations think they have the right to foist their problems onto the rest of society.

          • Another Mike

            This policy of offering good salaries and benefits MUST BE STOPPED! It creates INEQUALITY.

            What is the difference between SF and Looking-Glass-Land?

          • Jens Emil Ravn Nielsen

            I don’t think you understand what you are writing. Or maybe you are not writing what you actually believe. Are you saying that These companies are projecting infrastructure costs on their employees because they want to live in nice places? Or you saying that people who are not their employees are bearing a financial burden because the companies pay their own employees well? I am not really sure that paying your employees well is a problem. And…. smog? Wouldn’t there be more “smog” if the shuttles were not made available?

            Wait, never mind. I get it. Your trolling. Now I feel foolish.

      • Another Mike

        I don’t expect to see any large movement to SF until the job-killing payroll tax finally expires. Tiny startups have too few employees to trigger the payroll tax.

      • stuartblair

        No, I can’t say that it ever did occur to me, but then it’s an orthogonal point to the one I was making.

        Since you bring it up though, I should point out that if they did relocate to SF, they would then presumably supply similar buses to their workers in the south bay to ship them into work, thus shifting the same problem somewhere else – Menlo Park presumably. I would also point out that if they were to relocate to SF it would further drive up the property prices in an already expensive city thereby forcing out less affluent people and organizations.

        Beyond the misuse of the bus stops, I really don’t see Google as the bad guys in this. It’s not like they instructed their employees to move to SF, nor would we want them to in a world-view that valued freedom of choice.

        • Another Mike

          Genentech picks up their workers in the South Bay — currently free of professional protest owners trying to whip up a sense of grievance.

        • Joe

          Commercial real estate prices are orthogonal to housing real estate prices, so your point about prices isn’t valid.

          • stuartblair

            If you read it again, you’ll notice I referenced both people and organizations, since the point holds for both commercial and residential real estate.

  • Patrick

    The whole things sounds emotional. I have lived in SF for 50 years and in rent goes
    up most years as there is limited space.
    Middle class families have always moved out of the city when they have
    kids as it makes economic sense.

    • Jens Emil Ravn Nielsen

      Patrick, you are spot on. This whole reaction is emotional. In my opinion, the protests have not been organized very appropriately; certainly the actions taken against the buses have caused more congestion and caused a negative impact on the individuals riding them. Individuals who are not doing anything “wrong” or illegal, I might add, ride those buses, not evil people who are conspiring to displace other families.

      • Steve Rhodes

        It is illegal to stop in a bus stop. People get $271 tickets.

        It will only be legal starting in July if they participate in the pilot program and pay the $1 a stop.

        And San Francisco has made policy to try to support families including a children’s fund for over two decades. It isn’t enough, but not all families move when they have kids and more should be able to stay here.

        • Jens Emil Ravn Nielsen

          I did not write that the shuttle companies are innocent. The people who ride the shuttles are not doing anything wrong.

          • Joe

            It’s not a free market as you seem to think. The riders are subsidized by corporations that pay almost no taxes and that expect free handouts from cities and taxpayers. And you wrongly assume ignorance and innocence on the part of riders.

            http://www.ctj.org/corporatetaxdodgers/CorporateTaxDodgersReport.pdf

          • Jens Emil Ravn Nielsen

            Wrong. Not all riders are company employees. Many are contracted. Beside that, you assume that you know better. Goodnight.

          • Another Mike

            I see no tech companies on that list, except yahoo. But if you like, I will gladly help you picket Wells Fargo, the biggest local free rider on that list. Also, Macy’s.

            We;ll meet at Lefty O’Doul’s. Just tell me when.

        • Another Mike

          Buses regulated by the CPUC, as these are, are allowed to stop in bus stops. Private automobiles are not.

          • Steve Rhodes

            If they are allowed to stop in those stops, why will they be limited to 200 stops in the pilot program if they have a permit?

            Why will the buses which don’t have a permit or which have a permit stop somewhere which isn’t part of the program (they will be tracked by GPS) be fined?

          • Jens Emil Ravn Nielsen

            It is a pilot program. I think the 200 stops thing is meant to see if there is a bottle neck somewhere. Gauging might be easier if they initially impose a certain volume.

          • Steve Rhodes

            The point is starting in July there will be 200 legal stops. All the other stops will be illegal. Currently all the stops are illegal

          • Another Mike

            Currently NONE of the stops are illegal. That explains why no one is being ticketed.

          • Another Mike

            I think the legal authority to charge fees for using the bus stops is shaky. Can the board of supes really delegate fee-charging authority to the transportation board? The fee must be limited by state law: Prop 218 requires a 2/3 vote to impose a tax, which would be any amount in excess of the value of the service provided.

            If the burden is too onerous, Google, etc. will just take it to the courts to get it overturned. Then the legislature will have to step in. i don’t see Jerry Brown signing any unreasonable bill.

          • Steve Rhodes

            No, Prop 218 allows fees for programs to recoup their cost. That is what was approved. Google and the other companies aren’t going to sue over a pilot program they negotiated.

            They are quite aware if a higher fee was put on the Nov San Francisco ballot, it would probably pass.

      • Joe

        So you think all the pollution the buses are spewing is “emotional”?
        You think all the evictions caused by brogrammers is “emotional”?
        Wow, what an insensitive person you are.

        • Another Mike

          One bus spews a lot less pollution than 55 private automobiles

          And, exactly how do “brogrammers” cause evictions? They knock on a tenant’s door and tell them “You’re outta here”?

          • Joe

            One rented building spews zero pollution. Google is rich enough to have their SF employees work in SF.

            As for rents: One brogrammer says “I’ll pay $2500” and suddenly a landlord starts giggling to himself and massaging his nipples and then evicts 25 people to make way for brogrammers.

        • Jens Emil Ravn Nielsen

          You prove our point? I am not sure I have ever been internet insulted by someone on the same side as me. Firsts for everything I guess.

          • Joe

            The cost of the pollution is not being paid by the companies.
            The cost of the evictions on people’s finances and lives is not being paid by the companies.
            The cost of the buses taking over bus stops is not being paid either.

          • Jens Emil Ravn Nielsen

            Are you just writing things or did you post on the wrong comment?

  • Paul Spiegel

    Black buses and white whales: Anonymous vehicles are worrisome. Ordinary companies would leap at the opportunity to post their corporate logos on the sides of ubiquitous vehicles that are essentially rolling billboards. Why won’t tech companies identify their buses? Are they trying to hide?

    • Another Mike

      If you take a cab, do you put your name on the side? Like cabs and limos, those buses are regulated carriers that the tech companies contract with.

      • Paul Spiegel

        A cab is identified. A tech bus is a blank, white wall, anonymous as a sheet. If I hire a fleet of cabs to conceal my identity and break the law, I can be found. Not so with the white whales, whose identification, relative to the size of the vehicle, is nearly invisible.

        • Another Mike

          Write Compass Transportation and tell them you want to see some giant corporate logo on the sides of their buses — you don’t much care which one.

          • Paul Spiegel

            I do indeed care to know who hires these buses, Mike. I pay attention. So do you:

            Another Mike • 3 hours ago

            Where do Golden Gate Transit buses stop? SamTrans buses? The 40 foot buses that the Academy of Art operates? The casino buses, the airport buses, etc?

            That was your quote. Not “white buses”. Not “black buses”. You identify your other buses as GGT, SamTrans, AAU, etc. because they are marked by companies proud to run them. Who hires the white buses and the black ones? We can only guess.

          • Jens Emil Ravn Nielsen

            I am pretty sure that the point of no advertising is that the owners of the vehicles are private companies that hire out. You must have seen the black limo airport shuttles that go around. These are a bunch of unmarked Lincolns and crown vics that just have a little serial number on the back bumper. Why are they not full of ads? Cause they don’t want them. They probably want their customers to feel catered to, not just treated like anyone and everyone.

          • Another Mike

            All the relevant information is lettered on the buses, to the left of the boarding door.

    • rematrav

      If they did, the same people would be whining about all the corporate advertising on buses.

      • Paul Spiegel

        A simple “Google®” or “Facebook®” logo would do just fine. It works for Academy of Art University, for UCSF and for any number of casinos. Not to mention MUNI, although their “worm” logo is an atrocious anachronism, IMO.

        • Another Mike

          The tech companies don’t own those buses.

  • rematrav

    Grow up protesters. It’s not the Googlers who feel entitled, it’s the resentful and angry protesters who are jealous and think THEY should be the ones to live in SF,
    My in laws lived in Cow Hollow since the late 1960s. None of their 5 children could afford to live in Cow Hollow or most other parts of The City so they moved to Daily City, Vallejo and down the peninsula without having temper tantrums about “unfairness:. It’s called supply and demand. These protesters think they have some God-given right to live in the City and pay below market rents. Please grow-up so the rest of us don’t have to hear your infantile temper tantrums.

    As for bike-riding Tim Redmond, bike riders in The City feel the most entitled to completely screw up congested City traffic. They’re SO special.

  • 1PeterDuMont2STARALLIANCE8

    I appreciate the call(s) from tech employee(s) who complained that were it not for the company’s shuttle bus system, there would be “No way to get to work,” and on the other hand: “It would cost me $150 a month!” to take public transportation (for that long daily commute.)

    For a rational approach to this issue, we should compare the average (high) salaries of such tech workers with the many poor adult Muni riders who must pay $66 (or $76 including SF local BART rides) monthly for much shorter rides.

    And while we’re at it: There ARE public alternatives. [e.g.: CalTrans or SamTrans, with local shuttles or public transfers from train and long-haul bus stops to work.]

    This interesting issue can be solved more fairly at lower emotional temperatures.

    • Mita Ivey

      Oh please! You guys make a “6 figure salary”. You “techies” probably spend $150 for your dinner out on a Saturday.

    • Another Mike

      The caller said gas alone from Fremont would cost her $150 a month. Public transit was not an option.

    • Another Mike

      When you are working 12 to 16 hour days, what are the public transit alternatives? Assume you start in the Mission, at the open-air drug mart, and work at Google.

      • 1zzy

        Agree.

      • John

        Maybe the alternative is to live 30 miles closer to your office.

        • Another Mike

          There are no more public transit alternatives if you lived in Mountain View. Valley Transit buses stop running by 7 PM.

          • Steve Rhodes

            Then perhaps Google and other Silicon Valley companies should lobby for and suggest funding to have the buses run later.

          • Jens Emil Ravn Nielsen

            Waste of time and money. If your kids rely on public transit to go to school, but you live far away from school in an open enrollment district, would you begin lobbying for the school district to expand their school bus map? The district would have to renegotiate prices and the bus company would have to redo maps and routes. Huge waste of energy. Just stick with public transit or ride share. If you really want your kids in a particular school then you have to pay the price.
            Even if you enjoy it, if you can’t afford the lifestyle that surrounds you then you have to make personal changes. My wife and I met when I lived in Santa Cruz but we can’t afford to live there any longer. We moved! We now live in the East Bay. If we ever feel that the cost is well balanced with our lifestyle and income, we might move back.

  • 1zzy

    I’m tired of blame being placed on the tech industry – the Tech Industry is not to blame for bus congestion, high rents, etc. UCSF, Academy of Art, and Tech buses take cars off the roads, and make public transit less crowded. (Have you tried taking public transit in the city? Crowded like sardines and filthy, as is BART).

    Landlords charge ridiculous rents, forcing lower income workers out of SF. My son and his apartment mates (ALL professionals AND a couple tech workers) pay over $5000/month for a spot so small that it should be rented as a studio with 4 walk-in closets (labeled “bedrooms”) (each bedroom ranging from $1100 to $1500 each). The whole apartment is so small, it should rent for $700/month. Perhaps a remedy would be for SF to set a ceiling on price/foot for rent. The problem would also be ameliorated if tech workers AND other professionals refused to pay the exorbitant rents sought by landlords, to bring down the rents. But the landlords are first to blame for raising the rents to unconscionable levels.

    Tech workers live in SF and commute to Silicon Valley because SF is an interesting place to live and there is nothing to do in SV. Tech workers and other professionals bring money to the City. They eat, live and play here. Blame the landlords.

  • Jens Emil Ravn Nielsen

    Is the problem here with the tech companies, housing, congestion, the shuttle companies and their driving/placement/routes, or the shuttles themselves?

  • Menelvagor

    Why dont the shuttel busses just stop using the public stops and pick up thier employees in parking lots or locations that dont disturb people. Make the brats walk a bit to central points/parking lots. A mcdonalds parking lot. A walmart parking lot. A parking garage. a shoulder near a park…

    tax the hell out of these people. smart phones are a luxury and destructive to the environment and the social fabric in africa. tragedy of the commons.

    the rich are waging the class war! Misplaced anger my butt. How offensive.

    • Another Mike

      I keep trying to picture these SF parking lots people talk about, with no success. Can somebody identify them? Other than the occasional Safeway, or along the Embarcadero, any parking lot is too small for a bus to get into.

      • Menelvagor

        alright. good answer. Im not from san francisco, but I’ve been there and I dont recall seeing any parking lots. Just a thought. But there’s got be other places–in front of hotels maybe, by the waterfront…

        i think it would be wonderful if public buses were like shuttle buses or long-distance buses–one aisle, comfortable seating. or at least more than half the fleet this way–these would be premium buses–they cost twice/thrice as much. And strict rules of travel–no open beverages. no smoking. no unshowerered (im serious). Most destitute people (and homeless) will wait for the conventional bus.

        Anyone makes a mess on the premium bus they will be expected to clean it–puke, debris, etc. One way to enforce this would be to make bus cards mandatory–you can top it up pay monthly or annually fees, etc, and it will be like a debit card for all interconnecting-transit–you make a mess–you get charged!

        and increase bus routes for all buses and the premium buses conecting rail–and high-speed rail–and suburbs and tech offices. Tax the rich.

        the reason mass transit doesnt work in america is because it is under-funded, poorly designed and uncomfortable. Imagine a world where mass transit is the priority–first class seating like shuttle buses. We could even have double deckers.

        we need jobs in this country. a highly funded mass transit system would demand a large crew to man it. wouldn’t it be nice if americans could be proud of this 3rd world country. everything in is america is designed for private use and the rich–everyone can go die as far the rich are concerned–they dont need us–they got labor in cambodia. so no investment in infrastructure or quality of life–only money for war and killing–the private army of the rich. And who fights the wars–the poor. and then they got to get on some crappy bus that never comes and sit next to poopy pants.

        where are the car shares. the high speed rails. the public shuttle buses?

  • Menelvagor

    the city is doing so well?! Then how come no one can afford a house or rental property? The city is doing well for the privilieged and the rich. Your guests are soooo offensive. When will the rich compromise and stop blaming the victims. A good question to ask is why do these rich brats think they are so priviliged and better than everyone else that they shouldn’t have to ride public transit. Perhaps the city–the rich–the tech industry should be forced to subsidize public transit.

    • Another Mike

      All Californians subsidize Muni — Muni’s farebox revenue covers only 31% of their costs. Once you realize each Muni ride costs $6.70, you appreciate the tax savings the corporate buses supply.

      • Menelvagor

        Another MIke–i don’t know what Muni is. I am adding my two cents as an outsider looking in. One city’s problems are nearly all city’s problems. Most American cities dont have a shuttle bus problem but…

        I live in CHIna and shuttle buses are everywhere, as well as public mass transit. But there is no civic discussion here about anything, and nobody cares–which makes it so terrible to live here. So this is my only way of engaging community–by long distance. The discussion is worthwhile. And compromises should be made on all sides. But the bottom line–we need more taxes and better spending plans.

  • Sue

    As despicable as the Academy of Art University is, I have never seen an Academy of Art shuttle bus pull into a Muni bus stop.

    • Another Mike

      The Academy of Art owns four 40 foot transit buses, the same size as Muni’s. Where, exactly, do they pull over to the curb?

  • Sue

    And why aren’t we doing an environmental impact report on the corporate shuttle buses?

    • Another Mike

      Each bus takes 39 cars off the road (73% of bus riders own cars, x 55 passengers per bus). The environmental impact is obvious.

  • atlld

    Let’s see..

    (1) +Google being nice to the environment
    (2) +up to 60 cars are taken off the road per bus
    (3) +Google gets to retain people that otherwise would consider a closer employer
    (4) +SF gets to have highly paid residents (something other cities are DESPERATE for)

    And now the negatives:

    (1) -Someone has to walk 15 feet out of their way to get the bus because (gasp) another bus is blocking their immediate access to their MUNI bus. How DARE they!

    To me, this is like the gay marriage issue… People getting utterly outraged about something which actually has very little effect on their own lives. While someone may feel angry about the buses from a philosophical point of view, how are these buses REALLY affecting someone? A few extra steps? Smarter neighbors? Increasing property values in a generally overcrowded city? OH MY GOD, THE HORROR!

    SF needs to get off the cross. Someone could use the wood.

  • Sue

    A proper EIR would study the link between the private corporate shuttles buses and the evictions now happening throughout the city. Are people being forced to moved to car-dependent suburbs? And a proper EIR would study compare the number of riders on each bus versus the pollution emitted by each bus — it’s a widely known in the trade that buses that are at less than a certain capacity emit more pollution than cars.

  • Alexey

    As for raised rent. Did you thnk that SF citizens can blame only themselves?
    Owners of appartments raise prices, but they are not Google employees, are they? And similar logic can be applied to every price raise in the city.

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