Search AOL Mail
AOL Mail
AOL Favorites

SF to charge Google, others with employee shuttles

China Google
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - San Francisco plans to start regulating employee shuttles for companies like Google, Facebook and Apple, charging a fee for those that use public bus stops and controlling where they load and unload.

The influx of private shuttle buses, which transport thousands of workers to their jobs, have created traffic problems on the city's narrow streets, blocking public bus stops during peak commute hours. They also have become a symbol of economic inequality for people concerned about the tech industry's impact on the area's rising housing costs.

Protesters have blocked buses in the city's Mission District, a popular tech employee neighborhood where the shuttles are prevalent. In Oakland, protesters broke the window of a Google shuttle bus.

Mayor Ed Lee and other city leaders joined Google Inc., Facebook Inc., Apple Inc. and other companies Monday to announce a pilot program to charge a fee based on the number of stops each shuttle provider makes.

The city's public transportation system sees about 700,000 separate trips each weekday, so integrating the private employee shuttle system is a challenge.

"In recent years we've seen a wild wild West on our streets," said David Chiu, president of the city's Board of Supervisors. "This is an important first step in bringing some order and rules to our roads, as well as asking our companies to pay a fair share of what it costs the city to maintain our streets."

Mayor Lee says the shuttles are here to stay, and that they actually reduce gridlock and pollution by removing thousands of cars from roads each day.

"They've been helpful, in that but for them possibly we could see some 45,000 additional vehicle miles on our roadways or some 11,000 tons of carbon emissions on our streets," he said at a news conference Monday.

"I know that the more recent voices have been identifying these for purposes of political agendas and rhetoric, and I want to say that the commuter shuttles have been of benefit."

Under the pilot program proposed by the city, 200 of the city's 2,500 bus stops would be approved shuttle loading zones. The fees would pay for the administration of the program only, as state law only allows the fees to be used for that purpose.

Shuttle drivers would be ordered to yield to city buses, pulling to the front of bus stops to make room for other vehicles and avoiding steep and narrow city streets.

Google said in a statement that it is excited to work with the city to make transportation more efficient.

"We believe the pilot program is an important step in that direction," the statement said. "Google's Bay Area shuttles result in net annual savings of more than 20,000 metric tons of CO2. That's like taking about 4,000 cars off the road every day. "

The city's transportation board votes on the proposal Jan. 21.


Jason Dearen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/JHDearen

Join the discussion

1000|Characters 1000  Characters
Michael January 08 2014 at 8:52 AM

Ya gotta love the government. People are mad because of traffic created by the buses so what's the city do? Create a tax of course. Because that is going to lessen the impact on traffic.......

Flag Reply +4 rate up
zrh115 January 08 2014 at 9:50 AM

move out of the city....

Flag Reply +5 rate up
flyingfortresb17 January 08 2014 at 9:50 AM

They have to work out an arrangement. It seems the companies are doing their best to be good neighbors, it just that some of the neighbors are not.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
jtsczymanski January 08 2014 at 1:50 PM

All those Techies are welcome to come to Texas, no state income tax, they would have to stay in the Austin area though, that's where they would fit in the best.

Flag Reply +14 rate up
1 reply
mpusairsret jtsczymanski January 08 2014 at 1:59 PM

They'd all be welcome in the state of Washington. Also no state income taxes and they can run their shuttle buses. And we wouldn't limit them to a single city.

Flag Reply +10 rate up
1 reply
BettyKirby mpusairsret January 08 2014 at 6:19 PM

The trouble with Washington and Oregon is that the libs who voted for theses nipple head libs in CA got sick of the taxes they created. Now they infest these states too! And vote the same way! They never learn!

Flag 0 rate up
Seewcrazy January 08 2014 at 1:48 PM

The greenies who run SF and wanted people to ride mass transit are really contradicting something that is a good thing. These companies were pro active and made it easier for their employees to get to and from work without furhter clogging up the already clogged California highways. You would think that SF would be applauding them and giving them at least a verbal award for theri innovation. But poconnor29 below is right,SFO is a study in contrary mentality.

Flag Reply +23 rate up
3 replies
poconnor29 January 08 2014 at 1:43 PM

How far is uncool? SFO is a study in contrary mentality. No hope hoe bogus..

Flag Reply +10 rate up
Franny Smith January 08 2014 at 9:56 AM

Yes, the shuttles are very helpful to the city, and yes, they put a toll on the infrastructure.
Somebody has to figure out the cost vs benefit and determine how much, if anything, the companies should pay. I'm not a mathematician, but the logic seems obvious.
It all comes down to negotiation, negotiation, negotiation.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
aguilamnstr January 08 2014 at 1:36 PM

Why anyone would want to live there after visiting once? Once you see the views and smell the peeyouus and get stuck in the traffic and paythrough thenose for anything its good riddance!

Flag Reply +11 rate up
jcschultz January 08 2014 at 1:32 PM

If I owned a Starbucks or bagel shop, I would love to have one of these "hated" bus stops in front of my store. Think of all the sales that would come my way.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
antonnoe January 08 2014 at 1:31 PM

Coming from a lifelong san franciscan, this is embarrasing. The San Francisco anti -business government at its best.

Flag Reply +14 rate up
aol~~ 1209600



World Series

More From Our Partners