San Francisco Sued Over Commuter Shuttles for Tech Workers

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    NBC Bay Area
    Passengers are seen boarding a so-called "Google bus" in this file image.

    A group of transportation activists have filed a lawsuit against the city of San Francisco seeking to block commuter shuttles from using Municipal Railway bus stops, a practice that has sparked protests by local residents.

    The group, a coalition including Service Employees International Union Local 1021, filed the lawsuit Thursday over concerns that the shuttles - used by companies like Google, Apple and Genentech - have caused an increase in highly paid workers into the city, driving up housing costs.

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    The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has said more than 35,000 private shuttle boardings occur each day.

    The lawsuit follows a failed appeal by the plaintiffs to stop a pilot program by the San Francisco transit agency to charge companies $1 per stop per day to use public bus stops.

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    The program, which is set to begin July 1, will allow private shuttles to use about 200 bus stops. The opponents' appeal had argued that a report should be conducted on the program's environmental impact, but the transit agency's board of directors concluded that it was exempt from that requirement.

    The transit agency said in a statement in January that the shuttles "help to eliminate at least 45 million vehicle miles traveled and 761,000 metric tons of carbon every year from the region's roads and air.''

    San Francisco City Attorney spokesman Matt Dorsey said his agency hasn't had time to evaluate the litigation and that it would be premature to comment on it.