SFMTA Board approves tech shuttle plan

After sitting through hours of commentary in which people said the pilot was a bad idea, the SFMTA board approved it.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of directors approved a pilot program today that allows operators of private commuter shuttles to use public bus stops, something they’ve been doing illegally for years on a very predictable basis.

The program will establish an “approved network” of 200 designated San Francisco stops where private shuttles may pick up and drop off passengers. It will issue permits and identifying placards to the private buses and require them to adhere to certain set of rules, like yielding to Muni buses if they approach the stop at the same time. (There’s already a Curb Priority Law stating that any vehicles not operated by Muni will be fined $271 for blocking a bus zone. But the city has chosen to ignore that law when it comes to private commuter shuttles.)

Finally, the program will charge shuttle operators $1 per stop per day, which covers the costs of the program implementation and no more.

The meeting drew a very high turnout that included the protesters who have been blockading the buses, Google employees, private commuter shuttle drivers, and residents of various San Francisco neighborhoods.

Sup. Scott Wiener spoke at the beginning of the meeting, saying he was fully supportive of the pilot program, which was developed over the course of many months in collaboration with tech companies who operate the shuttles.

“These shuttles are providing a valuable service,” Wiener said. He said he was sensitive to widespread “frustration and anxiety” around the high cost of housing and rising evictions, but thought it was unfair to blame tech workers. “We need to stop demonizing these shuttles and these tech workers,” Wiener said.

Then Sup. David Campos addressed the board. “I think it’s really important for us to have a dialogue to find common ground,” Campos said, adding that pushing shuttle riders into private automobiles was not a good outcome. But he also urged the SFMTA board to send the proposal back to the drawing board. “It’s a proposal that simply does not go far enough,” he said.

Campos was also critical of the SFMTA’s process of studying the growing private shuttle problem for years, drafting a proposal in collaboration with members of the tech community, and waiting until the eleventh hour once the plan had already been formulated to seek comment from community members who are impacted.

“Public input is being sought after the fact,” he said.

That feeling of being frozen out of the process was echoed in comments voiced throughout the public comment session, which went on for hours.

“I’m opposed to the $1 charge,” one woman said. “I believe it’s way, way, way too low.” She told a story of receiving a ticket for being parked in a bus zone very briefly. “It wasn’t a $1 ticket,” she said.

Another woman, who said she was born and raised in SF, said she’d been riding Muni since she was in diapers. “It makes me really sad that we have regional shuttles and corporations that are saying, you can’t just fix that system, we’re going to go around it,” she said. She urged members of the transit agency board to find a better system that would work for everyone, “because you are in charge.”

A Google employee told board directors that she is very pleased that the shuttles have made it possible for her to live in San Francisco. “Not everyone at Google is a billionaire,” she said. “Ten years after the fact I am still paying my student loans. This is a choice, I know, to live in San Francisco and commute to Mountainview. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Her perspective, however, came in sharp contrast to that of Roberto Hernandez, who spoke on behalf of Our Mission No Eviction and said he was worried that displacement caused by rising rents have forced many members of his community to move to the East Bay.

Hernandez also brought up a little-known consequence of transit delays caused by private shuttle buses.

In the elementary schools near 24th Street in the Mission, he said, “They have the breakfast program for people who are low-income. So if you show up late, you don’t get breakfast.”

Here’s Hernandez addressing the SFMTA board members.

In the end, the transit directors approved the pilot with very little discussion. “At the end of the day, this is before us as a transit issue,” said board member Malcolm Heinicke. “And we’re better with something than nothing.”


Your only philosophy is a facile nihilism, divorced from reality.

"You don't trust it, but want your true believer side to take it over and force it on people for their own good. Which costs $$$$"

Nah, I say let the government help people when they want the help (health care, education, etc.), and pretty much leave them alone the rest of the time. Some say generous welfare states cost money, but study after study shows that investing money in people this way saves much more money than it costs in the long run. We have plenty of money to fund everything we could dream of, but we'd have to prioritize people-centered programs rather than cops/jails/military, and we'd have to shift the tax burden back from individuals to coporations, and from working-class individuals back to wealthy individuals.

"I don't trust it, if whoever my side is took it over everyone would be left alone more or less. Which costs much less."

Whoever, indeed. There isn't actually anyone who holds the same philosophical views as you do, save for maybe a couple of long-dead pseudo-intellectuals who you manage to dig up every now and then.

BTW, I love your use of "true believer," just like your matlock days. But you failed to throw in some of your other mental ticks, like "self-referential ravings" and "odd/interesting." Tell me again what the point of changing your handle was, when your themes and the way you express them are so predictable?

Posted by Greg on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 11:43 pm

Highest in Unites States in CA. Actually the CA government's gouging us for fees & fines is to pay public employees their windfall - nothing more, nothing less.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 12:42 am

While it's apparently true that CA has the highest *state* sales tax rate, it's highly misleading to say that it has anything to do with progressives. Is CA the most progressive state? I don't think so. That would probably be HI, which has pretty low sales taxes. Maybe VT, where it's about average. Meanwhile, some very right wing states also have high sales taxes, like MS, TX, TN, and IN. You're trying to make the facts fit your ideology, but the facts just don't fit. I think my explanation was more reasonable. Personally, I rarely if ever vote for increased sales taxes because it's regressive taxation.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 1:03 am
Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 7:56 am

Sales taxes are actually the hardest to avoid, unless you drive to Oregon to do your grocery shopping. You like sales taxes, because like any good conservative, you like the idea of regressive taxation.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 11:27 am

easiest tax to avoid (unless maybe you get paid in cash under the table or live in some offshore island).

First, if you pick your internet seller wisely (i.e. not Amazon who caved on this) you won't pay sales tax on anything ordered online. That includes many big ticket items.

Second, anything you spend outside of SF and CA has either a lower rate of sales tax or, in the case of places like OR, MT and NH, no sales tax at all.

Third, monies you save and invest, rather than spend, are not subject to any tax.

Fourth, for many services a "cash price" can often be negotiated, meaning no sales tax.

As a private individual, I feel it is the tax I can most easily manage my exposure to. Kinda like the same way you try and avoid traffic fines even though you are liable for them.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 11:46 am

That was a classic biography of a loser. I'm not even going to get into the obvious issue that your mentality lays somewhere between that of a 6 year old and a Tea Party member. I mean, you explained that part out just fine.

The best part is that you have time and energy to "aggressively fight every single ticket" - warranted or not - for 9 months with the stated primary goal of saving yourself $72. **OH MY FAWKING GAWD CALL THE ONE OR TWO PEOPLE WHO STILL GIVE A FUCK ABOUT YOU AND INFORM THEM THAT YOU COMPLETELY FAILED AT LIFE** .

Seriously, you're a mess. This isn't the first time you've told us how you have no problem throwing an epic tantrum when you don't like a rule that everyone else can follow (your story about some HOA, lol). You're like 60, right? And this is what you're doing? This is what you've resigned yourself to?

Jesus christ, man. I almost feel like lending you the $72.

Posted by Scram on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 9:39 pm

Particularly not from a piece of shit like you. Scram indeed.

It's principle. And it doesn't take up all my time. And no, I'm not 60.

The typical parking ticket goes like this: I fire off a letter. If I feel I have the slightest leg to stand on, I do some research and think about what to write. If I don't, then it's just a placeholder to tie things up.

Then, about 3 months later, I get an acknowledgement that the city is working on my protest. And about 6 months after that, they reject the protest (invariably). During that time I go on with my life; I work, I travel the world, I go to Burning Man, maybe get involved in some progressive political campaign... whatever. Meanwhile, city resources are being expended dealing with my protest. You might call me a "job creator."

Then when I finally get my rejection, I make an appointment with the nice adjudication officers of the Gestapo over on 12th Street, preferably at a time when I plan to be in the neighborhood anyway. For whatever reason, the adjudication officers are actually much, much nicer than the Field Gestapo. Sometimes I think they almost look for a way to get me off the hook. Although sometimes when it's really cut and dry, I actually do just pay it. In the case I was referring to (the bus zone BS), the way it was done was really shitty. The letter of the law may have been followed, but the way it was executed was total BS. I explained my case for a favorable judgment, but I also let it be known that the pure injustice of it all would lead me to pursue this through any means I could -going to my supe, going to the media, whatever. It was the only time they didn't give me an answer on the spot. He took everything under advisement, said he'd talk to his boss, and a couple months later they sent me a letter saying that "for reasons other than what was stated in my letter" they would dismiss my bus zone ticket. Translation: "this guy will cause trouble. Let's just leave it alone." What can I say? I'm a nice guy, but I won't be a doormat. If you want to, that's your choice.

Writing the letter: 40 minutes. This is one I put some thought into.
Time spent with the adjudication officers including wait: 1 hour
Money saved: Enough for dinner for two at Gary Danko
Tying up AND beating the system: Priceless

Posted by Greg on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 10:48 pm

This essay proves what we all suspected. You're insane.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 9:29 am

his duties as a citizen. Sickening. And he calls himself progressive.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 6:36 pm

If your time is worth so little to you that you will put that effort into contesting tickets - then this is not a city for you :)

Posted by Murphstahoe on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 12:29 pm

IIRC, the bus zone ticket was in the neighborhood of $270. Fighting it took 1.67 hours, for a total monetary payoff of $163 per hour. The equivalent yearly salary would be $339,000 per year. Are you suggesting that only those who make more than $339,000 per year should get to live in this city? A city for, literally, only the 1%?

Truth be told, the intangible rewards are greater than can be measured in mere money. I don't like injustice, and the whole system is frankly unjust.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 12:54 pm

deviously getting out of a just ticket?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 1:00 pm

Yes, Marcos, and those fines will still exist under the pilot program.

That wasn't my point. The people who write for the SFBG outwardly claim to be 'journalists', and I just wanted to point a clear example of where they are not.

Prop 218 came up several times during the meeting that Rebecca reported on, even by the anti Google commenters as well as by the commissioners.

For Rebecca to twice note the $1 figure without mentioning the legal rationale behind it is a massive #fail.

Yes, it will leave readers with the impression that the city tried to charge as little as possible, but don't call yourself a journalist if your objective is to mislead.

Posted by Guest2 on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 8:43 pm

just a sign and the absence of a couple of parking spaces.

So for a bus that uses one ten times a week, a buck sounds about right.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 7:58 am

I can't imagine what it must be like to be you and others here like you. It must be a terribly traumatic experience EVERY DAY for you to be forced to come to a site you absolutely hate and have no respect for. I can't imagine the feelings that must cause you. Poor thing. You have my sympathy.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 9:46 pm

Well maybe not Matlock/maybe a guest. I think he just has no life. But some of the others have to be paid shills. Judging by their generic talking points and the times that some of them post, they're probably being outsourced for cheap.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 10:52 pm

Not agreeing with Greg pays hard money.

Posted by maybe a guest on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 11:01 pm

Maybe you could save enough to move out of your mom's basement. Not in San Francisco of course, 'cause it's a city only for the rich now, but them's the breaks, right? You shouldn't have any problem moving to Stockton for economic reasons, given your hatred for San Francisco progressives.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 11:21 pm

typically, they do not make a lot of money.

So if we don't like progressives, all we have to do is wait for them all to leave.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 9:31 am

weird personal attacks.

There is no wrong answer for people like Greg, meaning people like Pat Buchanan, Pat Robertson, Ayn Rand, Jerry Fallwell, Steve Jones, Gus Hall, George Lincoln Rockwell, Lord Ha Ha, etc...

Posted by maybe a guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 8:01 pm

Holy crap! I can get paid for rebutting Greg's arguments??? I want in on this! It's not like it's hard work. Anybody with a 5th grade education could blow holes large enough to drive an ocean liner through his arguments. Please Greg, tell me who are these wonderful people who are willing to pay me for doing such menial work so I can sign up.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 11:38 pm

Holy Crap! Wow! Unless you have automatic deposit, just look on the check (upper left corner) you receive and it will say who you're being paid by to work here. That's the way it usually works. Excluding this site's trolls (which would include you), most people can usually remember their employer's name.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 12:53 am

And then marcos and Greg, who are not.


Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 8:07 am

I love how you can just throw out accusations about paid posters but have not one scintilla of actual evidence to back it up. All you can do is yell "You guys are paid to comment on this". Why is it that you can come on and make comments and "you're just a regular person stating their views" while someone who disagrees with the party line is "paid to comment here"? If that's true, you must be dumb as shit because I'm getting paid for doing something you do for free. And it must pay REALLY well too since I can afford to live in this city without the benefit of rent control.

Can you actually name any one person or company that actually believes the BG crowd is so influential they have to pay people to be on here??? In case you hadn't noticed, the BG (and progressives) have been steadily losing influence over the past decade. In the grand scheme of city politics and policies, you guys are a fringe element who make lots of noise but don't actually get much accomplished.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 7:48 pm

mostly because they think they are doing gods work.

Everyone else comes for a laugh.

I read and comment on right wing pages because they are as comical as the Bay Guardian, its for the laughs.

Posted by maybe a guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 8:33 pm

The amount of money at stake is high enough that the cost of a few trolls to take no chances is well within the realm of the possible. If you're going to play for keeps, and our opponents are, then you don't take any chances and do what you have to do. Playing for keeps is alien to progressives.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 8:38 pm

I agree. Something is definitely going on on this forum. I can't read much of it at all anymore. It's too much for me. I quickly scroll/scan starting from the bottom of the page and going up. These days, the comments on this site consistently remind me of the comments on SFGate, if not worse than that. I stopped going to SFGate because of the comments, and coming here is becoming more and more difficult.

It's as if there's a major take-over of this site's comment forum and you know what I mean by that. Somebody is paying somebody to post reams here. Nobody has that much free time on their hands other than people who are being paid to do so. It's too orchestrated. They can deny it all they want, and I would expect them to deny it.

I suspect if anyone came on here from another part of the nation expecting to read mostly liberal or progressive or Left comments reminiscent of the former "Liberal San Francisco" city we once had the reputation for being, they would be shocked at what they were reading on here and would be asking: What the hell has happened to San Francisco based on the comments on that forum? Am I on the wrong site? Did I end up on a site in Texas or some conservative backwater cesspool somewhere? The vitriol, bile, arrogant, smug and nasty rub-it-in-your-face, 6-year old mentality used by most commenters here is too much for me.

But the Guardian obviously likes the comments as they are, otherwise they would do something about it, such as ask for your or someone else's assistance (as you wrote about the other day.) So in that sense, they are part of the problem and exacerbating it on a daily basis.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 9:18 pm

"The amount of money at stake is high enough"

Postings on SFBG make the 1% tremble!

Posted by racer さ on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 10:02 pm

No one spends hours posting on a site that they think no one is reading.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 11:04 pm

... we did write about 218, and the argument is less than concrete. http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2014/01/07/why-muni-won%E2%80%99t-earn-dime-tech-buses

Posted by Joe Fitzgerald on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 2:00 pm
Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 2:09 pm

Remember the struggle of the glorious Soviet Union against fascism - when it was darkest our great leader Stalin rallied the Union of Soviets from Red Square and 4 years later we achieved a glorious victory that still resonates today amongst the oppressed peoples of the world!! It is always darkest before dawn and the huddles masses will achieve victory over the advancing forces of corporate shuttles!!

Posted by Guest on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 7:35 pm

Can the City violate state law and authorize any use of a red zone other than "for the loading and unloading of passengers of a bus engaged as a common carrier in local transportation when indicated by a sign or red paint on the curb?"

Posted by marcos on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 7:43 pm

Put an initiative on the ballot - just stop thinking leaving comments on a web page is an excuse for real action.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 8:29 pm

Only the politically incorrect will be ticketed.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 9:30 am
Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 8:06 am
Posted by maybe a guest on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 8:52 pm

I guess it was a Mistake to voted ED LEE as Mayor (SFMTA Transportation Head)

Mayor been saying :"give people safety" alot .

List of Things that are not safety for people or have a improvement towards to that section
-This 1$ Per Stop per day program for Private Shuttles does not reduce and increase of safety what so ever. Private Shuttle/Company paying money to SFMTA who are caring about their self.
-Uncontrollably adding Parking Meter`s front people Houses does not provide safety and reliable area for Chimerical resulting of many people parking farther from their house which is very unsafe for people.
-Widen Sidewalks does not speed up traffics and secure safety.
-Bike Lanes does not provide safety to parking cars and does increase greater conjugation. Having bike lane is good for bike people but still unsafe due this change.

Posted by Guest SF-492 on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 8:54 pm

cop shoots cop in the empty apartment of a suspect already in custody.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 9:54 pm

Look it up on Google if you're not up to date on your LE jargon.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 10:58 pm

no humans involved. Tell that to the survivors of the dead cop. The first reports were that the cops were looking for the suspect. Now, they have changed their tune to an "evidence" search, once reporters uncovered the fact that the suspect had been in custody since Thursday.

At minimum, complete incompetence, typical of the BART police force. Now, the PR coverup is in effect, also typical of BART management.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 11:12 am

Why bother having an investigation when they could just ask you?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 11:24 am

Utter incompetence, even if the report about the "evidence search" is true. A cop shot another cop in an unoccupied apartment. A well trained cop would have properly evaluated the safety of the situation instead of killing his buddy. The "investigation" might reveal if the shooter shot accidentally (rather than mistakenly) or was just poorly trained and scared. I leave it to BART management to spin and obscure the truth.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 11:39 am

Glad we clearly that up.

Reminds me of the guy who died at the Oakland Occupy camp. Before it had even been investigated, those who opposed Occupy were using it to so show that Occupy was evil.

Was that you as well?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 11:49 am

Care to comment about how it is possible for a competent cop to shoot his partner in an unoccupied apartment facing no threat? You know, stick to this situation, not the extraneous one you raised to distract from the embarrassment of what happened yesterday in Dublin.

You seem like quite the expert about law enforcement. Might you attend the funeral and share your view with the widow and her child that no humans were involved in the incident?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 12:03 pm

I agree that neither of us know any of the details and therefore that sepculation is pointless.

I'm sure the investigation will determine whether this was an accident or something else.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 12:16 pm

"no humans involved. Tell that to the survivors of the dead cop. "

But one thing that should be emphasized is that the term is common police jargon, used to refer to people that cops don't like -sex workers, drug addicts, suspects in criminal cases, sometimes any black people. In using that jargon, the cops are saying that they believe broad classes of people who they are ostensibly paid to serve and protect, are not human. What does that say about the cops?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 11:35 am

thugs, you'd probably develop your own hierarchy of human worth, based on different propensities to criminal behavior.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 11:47 am

The fact that it's common doesn't make it right.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 12:02 pm

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