Google's Shuttles Given Do-Gooder Stamp

San Francisco agency's report lauds benefits of private commuter shuttles

By Jackson West
|  Tuesday, Nov 24, 2009  |  Updated 2:30 PM PDT
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Google's Shuttles Given Do-Gooder Stamp

Richard Masoner

The SFCTA recommends that private shuttle companies work with city agencies to untangle system.

The corporate-sponsored shuttles that whisk wealthy techies from San Francisco to Silicon Valley received admirable grades in a report issued last week by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority.

The report, commissioned by Supervisor (and mayoral candidate) Bevan Dufty found 20 million fewer vehicle miles travelled, resulting in tons fewer carbon emissions, along with parking alleviation through reduced automobile ownership and increased interest in local businesses and real estate along shuttle routes.

And, of course, since it's all subcontracted out to company's like Bauer's by companies like Google and Yahoo, it doesn't cost government a dime.

Neighbors have complained about the shuttles choking traffic in neighborhoods like Noe Valley, which lies in Dufty's district.

The SFCTA recommendations include coordinating shuttle service with agencies like the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority to streamline routes and stop locations.

Of course, where have we seen employer-sponsored systems go off the rails before?

That's right, healthcare. Investors in companies like Google and Yahoo are bound to question costs like free transportation for employees, which may eventually result in employees and beleaguered public transportation agencies shouldering more of the cost and work, respectively.

Photo by Richard Masoner.

Jackson West finds it ironic that the SFCTA ended up doing this report while Google seems more interested in plug-in hybrid metrics than analyzing shuttle-service impact.

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