Today’s Headlines

  • SFMTA May Move Tech Shuttles from Bus Stops to Hubs (SFExaminer, KQED)
  • A New Tech Shuttle Protest (SFist)
  • SFMTA Preps Funds to Purchase New Buses (SFExaminer)
  • More on Woman Killed Crossing Market Street (SFBay, SFAppeal)
  • More on BART Fake Security Cameras (SFGate, InsideBayArea, Kron4)
  • BART to Divest from Coal? (EastBayExpress)
  • More on Mileage Tax Pilot Program (SFExaminer)
  • SOMA 100 Unit Dense Infill Housing Development Awaits Approval (Socketsite)
  • New Housing Finally Opening in Hayes Valley (BizJournals)
  • Larkspur Train Extension Opening in 2018 (MarinIJ)
  • Hit and Run Driver on Suspended License Returns to Scene and Gets Nabbed (MercNews)

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Get state headlines at Streetsblog CA

  • voltairesmistress

    Bad news: the Board of Supervisors is moving to dismantle one form of private mass transit that actually works: the Google Bus program. If they are successful in moving these busses from mostly underused bus stops to a few hubs that are cumbersome to arrive at, most of those commuters will go back to using private cars, hopefully carpooling, but still adding a lot of traffic to city streets and the highways. Housing prices will remain unaffected, but those fearful of displacement by tec workers will feel good with their illusions of victory.

    My prediction: that tech companies will hire smaller carpool type vans seating 8-12 persons to get their employees to work and home, closer to door to door service. It will cost more than the busses, but considerably less than the loss of talented current employees and future talent.

  • Andy Chow

    I don’t think a hub idea will work. A hub will require a lot of space (think of Transbay Terminal) for multiple buses to stage and board passengers, and will require shelters for large groups of passengers. I expect significant opposition to these kind of facilities in most areas within SF.

    If this is an operation funded and operated by a transit agency, rather than self funded by companies, you can set up a hub near 101 or 280 outside the city. Buses from different neighborhoods that head to different companies would stop at those hubs and allow people to transfer. So there will be fewer buses and fewer impacts, but does not require everyone to board Muni to downtown and transfer.

  • RichLL

    The difference between a shuttle and a bus is that a shuttle goes somewhere close to your home. Having to hike half-way across town to catch one destroys the entire point of them.

    So the “hub” idea is a non-starter. It’s possible that hubs could work if there “feeder shuttles” that used smaller vehicles that are free to go and ickup anywhere – more like Uber people carriers. But the waiting and changing would still be irksome, and far more drivers would be needed.

    I really fail to see any problem with the current system.

  • voltairesmistress

    I agree with you: whatever problems there are,such as big busses using too narrow, neighborhood streets or heavily used public bus stops, can and have been tweaked and ironed out with public input and SFMTA oversight of the bus program. Eliminating the current Google bus program would be a symbolic victory for activists who wrongly think that the Google bus program causes displacement of lower income SF residents. A study by the SFMTA seemed to indicate that the busses followed where employees were already locating themselves, not the other way around. That same study surveyed the riders about what the would do if such busses were eliminated. Only 5% said they would move closer to their workplace on the Peninsula. So I very much doubt removing Google busses from SF streets would help with displacement, but it would significantly negatively affect highway and city traffic and quality of life for drivers and non-drivers alike. Study was written up on Citylab, but don’t have the link to hand.

  • murphstahoe

    A company I know was running 2 Google buses per day from the City. Ridership was sort of meh, so they combined the 2 shuttles into one route. The net result was that the ridership of the new route was roughly 1/4 the ridership of the total from the 2 prior routes. The new route served a smaller subset, and few riders who had “closer” stops on one of the old routes dealt with the longer last mile problem.

    The riders on the West side of town just started driving. The cohort that lived in Potrero Hill went back to Caltrain. The Potrero cohort was interesting – they had mostly moved to Potrero because of Caltrain before the shuttles. Despite Potrero being the highest concentration of employees living in SF for that company, the shuttle stop in Potrero was eliminated due to poor ridership. That group mostly just took Caltrain anyway!

    Caltrain is much faster at this point than a shuttle on US-101 – but the door to door trip is only good if your last mile problem is solved. The company provides excellent shuttle service, non-stop from Mountain View for baby bullets or Lawrence for limiteds. And it’s close enough to bike quickly. But only the Potrero people (who could walk to the train) stuck with Caltrain because the real last mile problem for Caltrain is in SF – where MUNI is woefully inadequate to Caltrain.