San Francisco's Municipal Transit Agency wants to implement an 18-month test strategy that service up to 35,000 workers—most of whom work for tech companies in Silicone Valley—everyday. The plan would also reduce the issues with MTA buses and erase conflicts between public and private buses.
The private buses service companies such as Yahoo!, Google, Facebook, Apple, eBay and Genentech. Complete with air conditioning and Wi-Fi, these buses regularly stop and public bus stops and block intersections, creating a nightmare for everyone except their passengers and the companies who charter them. So far, the MTA's method of dealing with the problem has been to not deal with the problem.
After frequent complaints, the agency knows it cannot ignore the problem any longer:
-- Create a network of about 100 Muni stops suitable for sharing with private shuttle buses.
-- Establish guidelines giving Muni buses priority, limiting the amount of time at stops, and requiring shuttles to pull to the front of the stop.
-- Require shuttles to display an identifying placard.
-- Prohibit shuttles without permits from using Muni stops.
-- Step up enforcement, issuing citations to shuttles without permits or using unauthorized Muni stops.
-- Require operators, some of whom have been reluctant, to share with the MTA data including the number of passengers, routes and boarding locations.
-- Charge operators a still-undetermined fee based on covering the costs of the program and helping to maintain the stops.
Not everyone is enthusiastic, and many have taken to Facebook to voice their displeasure:
Allow me to rewrite the title of this article: "Muni seeks to deflect attention from its own, huge messy issues". Pathetic...while profiting from private shuttle buses in the process.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that full details of the plan should be ironed out this summer, with the initiative's target start date slated for early next year.
[via San Francisco Chronicle]