SF Eyes Regulation of Google, Apple, Other Private Shuttles

The private buses that ferry tech-savvy San Francisco workers to firms like Google, Apple and Genetech in Mountain View, Cupertino and beyond block traffic, annoy neighbors and are now under scrutiny from city transit planners.

The buses could have less of an impact if the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which oversees Muni, had a say in how the private shuttles operated -- where they could stop, when they could run, and what routes they were allowed to take, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

“Local residents have no clear way to address the issues of shuttle buses, which is leading to friction,” said Tilly Change, deputy planning director for the San Francisco County Transportation Authority.

The shuttles' load has doubled in recent years to 4,000 passengers a day. Apple, Genetech, Google and Yahoo are the four biggest employers who provide shuttles for their urban workforce, the newspaper reported.

Those firms all have offices outside of town, but within San Francisco shuttle service is booming, too. UC-San Francisco's Mission Bay campus sees 17,000 workers commute via shuttle, up from 4,000 in 2010.

Supporters of the private buses point out that the alternative is private automobile trips. The Peninsula would see an additional 327,000 cars every year without them, it's claimed. Moreover, the SFMTA has a tough time running Muni, one shuttle operator said -- so how is the agency going to manage this?

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