A private shuttle bus passes through San Francisco's Mission District. (David Gartner/Flickr)
A private shuttle bus passes through San Francisco’s Mission District. (David Gartner/Flickr)

A poll released today by EMC Research and commissioned by the Bay Area Council, a pro-business group, suggests that people are not as upset about “Google buses” or tech shuttles as anecdotal evidence would lead you to believe. Protests, previously covered by KQED, have attracted attention from around the country as buses shuttling employees to tech jobs in the South Bay were surrounding by activists.

But not everyone is angry. The new poll found that a majority — 57 percent of the 500 likely voters polled — had a favorable or somewhat favorable impression of tech employee shuttle buses, while 15 percent said they had never heard of such a thing. The telephone survey also found that those surveyed had an even more favorable impression of tech workers and the impact of recent tech sector growth on the city. A plan to allow the shuttles to use some city Muni stops also garnered support, because people believe the tech shuttle buses decrease traffic and pollution. However, 70 percent also said they supported some form of regulation of the shuttle buses. The poll focused almost solely on tech shuttles and perceptions of tech workers.

Read the full poll results:

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Interestingly, EMC Research conducted a different study back in November, which more broadly examined the attitudes of San Francisco residents. That study, called The San Francisco Survey, asked residents broader questions on their feelings about housing, the problems they face and the economic changes in the Bay Area.

Just five months ago, 84 percent of the people polled said they felt that the tech growth has greatly impacted the cost of living in the city. Did their opinions change since then or did the questions change? Ted Gullickson, of the San Francisco Tenants Union, told KQED reporter Sara Hossaini that he wasn’t surprised by today’s survey finding support for tech shuttles — because it didn’t bring up living costs or housing prices.

Read the November survey:

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Kelly O'Mara

Kelly O'Mara is a writer and reporter in the San Francisco Bay Area. She writes about food, health, sports, travel, business and California news. Her work has appeared on KQED, online for Outside Magazine, epsnW, VICE and in Competitor Magazine, among others. Follow Kelly on Twitter @kellydomara.

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