Today’s Headlines

  • Tune In to KQED Forum at 10 A.M. for a Discussion on the 20th Anniversary of Critical Mass
  • SFMTA’s Latest Collision Report Updates Most Dangerous Intersections for Bikes/Peds (Mission Local)
  • Pedestrian Killed on I-680 in Pleasanton (KRON)
  • Woman Injured by Muni Bus Driver on South Van Ness Between 20th and 21st (Mission Local)
  • Photos of Some of the Creative Park(ing) Day Spots Seen on Friday (Curbed, Tweets: 1, 2, 3)
  • Parking Garage Fees Lowered With SFPark Cutting into Rec and Parks Budget (SFGate)
  • A Map of Private Tech Employee Shuttles in SF (Noe Valley SF)
  • Planned Pacheco Transit Hub in Martinez to Link Buses, Bikes, and Carpools (CoCo Times)
  • Driverless Google Cars to be Legal Soon Under State Bill (Bay Citizen)
  • Oakland Unveils First Parklet in Celebration of Park(ing) Day (CBS)
  • San Lorenzo Girl, 16, Injured by Hit-and-Run Driver While Walking to School (CBS)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Mario Tanev

    Has anyone noticed that the green wave on Valencia between 25th and 24th going inbound is no longer in sync? I am pretty sure that it used to be (generally between 26th and 15th all intersections adhere to the green wave), but maybe I have a faulty memory.

  • david vartanoff

    A decade ago when Rescue Muni dreamt SFMTA would actually DO something to improve transit, we proposed a rail link from the Judah following the 22 to  the Mission Bay area. Looking at the shuttle map it seems it should head for a new transfer station on Caltrain w/ parking, bus bays, and baby Bullet service probably easiest to locate near Cesar Chavez.  SFMTA could do a BRT lite service now to 22nd St Caltrain if they wanted to.  

  • voltairesmistress

    That map of San Francisco corporate shuttles is a gem. These shuttles remove two or three steps of transit (Muni/Caltrain/VTA
    or Sam Trans) and are therefore much faster and cheaper.  Riders can always
    work on board and shorten the time spent at the office. No way and no how would many city residents even consider commuting by car each day — too dangerous, tiring, time-consuming, and unpredictable.

    Without the shuttles, the City would either lose these urbanites to the Valley, or these companies would suffer a talent shortage from tech workers unwilling to live in the suburbs and unwilling to commute several hours a day on a traffic-choked freeways.  I do wonder, however, if many of these companies will find it cost effective to relocate to San Francisco. Does the bulk of their employees prefer living and working on the Peninsula and in the South Bay?  If yes, then perhaps the companies will never relocate, or will situate some satellite offices in the San Francisco.  Thoughts from anyone who is doing the tech commute?

  • Google’s campus has what, 15,000 employees, co-located, with cafeterias to feed them, auditoriums for large company gatherings, etc…

    Where exactly could a company of that size locate itself in San Francisco?

    Answer: Candlestick. Tear down the football stadium and attract one of the tech behemoths to SF. Add a new street grid with residential over retail in the former parking lots. Bayshore Caltrain is 3/4 a mile from the stadium, add buses shuttling to/from the train station.   

  • Mario Tanev

    As someone who uses the shuttles, here are my thoughts:

    1. The map is somewhat inaccurate (stops are mostly accurate, routes not so much), but decent.
    2. Without the shuttle I would probably have to double my commute time and use Caltrain. I would also be more likely to choose to live or work elsewhere.
    3. Some of these companies have offices in SF to cater to those who MUST work in SF (or else quit), but the selection of projects may not be as satisfying as that available at their headquarters. It depends on a per-project basis whether there are sufficient number of people located in SF to move that project to SF.
    4. An overwhelming majority of employees live on the Peninsula and the South Bay, making the prospects for en-masse relocation extremely unlikely. Maybe if the companies had started in SF that wouldn’t be the case, but many people have already bought their homes down there.
    5. Some companies are working on urbanizing their environment instead of moving to an urban environment, but that will take ages.

  • Davistrain

    Regarding that pedestrian fatality on I-680: I suspect that many of us who follow the railroad scene are thinking–“at least the deceased didn’t jump in front of a Caltrain.”

  • Anonymous

    @732c4803eb2e277d0054b17154744686:disqus I disagree. If these shuttles didn’t exist, I think one (or a combination) of 3 things would happen: 1) workers would move down the Peninsula to be near their workplace, 2) workers would take Caltrain, 3) the companies would open SF offices. It’s the ol’ “induced traffic” issue. These buses have created the “need” for them, not the other way around.

  •  My son interned at Google last summer while living at home and so took the Google bus to and from Noe Valley each day.  (By the way I also think the map is inaccurate–both Google and Genetech have buses that travel down Castro Street.) Though the buses were quite frequent and certainly faster than biking to Caltrain and then Caltrain down the Peninsula, after a while he found the two hours (!) he spent each day on the bus tedious, partly because he was only allowed to code on his computer actually at work, so he really couldn’t do much productive on the bus. (I don’t know if this is true for full time workers.) But two hours a day is an enormous amount of time to spend commuting, especially when it doesn’t even involve any exercise.

    After graduating, he chose a company that gives him a remarkably large housing subsidy if he lives in Palo Alto or Menlo Park. So now he has a five minute bike ride to work (convenient because he doesn’t drive) but he complains that Palo Alto is boring. He would really rather live in the city. (I think his ideal would be to live in Mission Bay or the Mission and work in the city or take a 30 min bullet train to Palo Alto.)

    All these companies in Silicon Valley try to outdo each other with remarkable perks (soccer fields! beach volleyball courts! free breakfast lunch and dinner! free gyms! free laundry!) but they are overlooking that for young people in their twenties living in San Francisco is one of the best perks you could offer. My sense is that the new start ups want to be within whistling distance of the venture capitalists, and the large ones don’t see how they can carve out a space large enough for themselves in the city.  (Though I agree, at Candlestick you could even fit in a soccer field and a beach volleyball court or two.)  The lack of accessibility by Caltrain to Apple’s new campus is especially disappointing and I believe they will come to regret this.

  • mikesonn

    @KarenLynnAllen:disqus He could of rode w/ 🙂

  • Richard Mlynarik

    jd_x: you simply have no clue.  None at all.

    If the buses didn’t exist, everybody on them would drive, alone.

    (2) I did the appalling Caltrain commute for the better part of two decades.  Only a nutcase enviro-whackjob (eg myself, and a handful of other martyrs) would choose that over driving or carpooling.

    Caltrain isn’t viable, isn’t about to be viable, and, given the priorities (= piss away public money and make things worse) and total lack of professionalism of its management, will not be viable 10 years from now or 30 years from now.

    (1) Companies don’t locate to please anybody except their CEOs and never have.

    (3) People choose their home quality of life (SF = urban playground) over living next to their cube farm given the affluence and inclination to do so, and your tut-tutting isn’t going to change that.

    I don’t use them and never will use them, but I’ll say this: Hooray for the googlebuses!

  • @mikesonn:disqus   Then he would’ve had a 6 hour (round trip) commute!  (But plenty of exercise!) 

    SFO is just close enough, (and my husband just insane enough) that my husband bikes to the airport when he travels. 40 miles would be tough as an everyday bicycle commute, but I admire the people who do it!

  • Richard –

    You are wrong.

    Steve Jobs was not in favor of the shuttles, but the presence of the Google buses resulted in his South Bay residing employees leaving Apple to go work at Google because they could move to SF and not have to drive. Once those shuttles went into place, Apple employees moved north. Evidence – look at SF housing price trends. The heat map for real estate prices is exactly correlated to the shuttle map. When I moved here, out of college, I lived in Santa Clara because that was where my job was and I had no clue. Facebook and Google actively advertise to their potential recruits that they can live in SF and don’t even have to own a car.

    The Apple employees who did live in SF were heavy users of Caltrain. There were multiple SRO shuttle buses from MV and SB bike cars had a double digit percentage of Apple employees, prior to the door to door shuttles.

    When was your 2 decades of slogging down the Peninsula on Caltrain? Pre-bullets? Pre the 98 train schedule? Pre shiny shiny iphone and tethering and all sorts of other productivity devices that are de riguer on the train? Pre 80 bike capacity on trains? I have ridden it for 15 years and there is no comparison. The train is not so bad… especially compared to 101 recently…

    So if the shuttles disappeared they would stay in SF and start driving? The traffic on 101 is worse than the dot com era – which has a lot to do with Caltrain being at record ridership levels despite having lost some potential ridership to the shuttles. Add 10-15 thousand extra car trips on peak to the 101 and it would get pretty miserable pretty fast. Caltrain cannot handle 20000 more trips. A lot of those Googlers and Apple folk now have toddlers and they are staying in SF despite the school worries solely because of the shuttles. Kill the shuttles and there would be a mass migration south.

    Companies locate to please their CEOs? Zuckerberg is seen in the Mission all the time. If he could get office space the size of Sun Quentin in San Francisco, he very well might have taken it. They took the one office building that would fit the company. Which is exactly what Google did 8-ish years ago.

    I consider the buses a net positive but they are not without negative externalities.

  • Anonymous

    @f84b22d3acf35e1589e626b8e51fe1a4:disqus If what you said was true, then that means traffic on 101 and 280 has significantly improved in the last couple years (the time since the corporate shuttle buses have become omnipresent in SF) since before the shuttle buses everybody was (according to you) driving. Last I checked, freeway traffic has certainly not improved and in fact has been getting worse in the last few years. This is evidence that the shuttle buses create their own demand. I mean, do you really think all these workers were really driving alone before a couple years ago?

    But even stronger evidence: do you really think it’s a coincidence that the housing and rental prices in the southern neighborhoods have *sky-rocketed* in the last two years which is the same time that all the shuttles have become prolific? What is happening in the city right now, especially the southern neighborhoods, is that Peninsula workers are using it as an “urban playground” (here I agree with you) but only doing so because their Peninsula companies have made it *very* convenient to do so, i.e., by providing free, frequent, late-running comfortable, wifi-enabled shuttles.

  • mikesonn