Got a tip for us? Share it...

Apple, Google Shuttles to Pay to Use Public Bus Stops in San Francisco

appleshuttlecastroMajor tech companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook often use private buses to ferry employees from living areas in San Francisco and the bay area to company campuses in places like Cupertino, Mountain View, and Menlo Park.

Previously, the city was not receiving any income from the campus buses, even though they often used city bus stops. Today that changed as the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) approved a pilot proposal (via The Verge) that will require commuter shuttle buses from companies like Apple to pay $1 for each stop they make every day.

Commuter shuttle buses have been subject to several protests over the course of the last few months, with activists in the area attacking employee buses in protest of rising housing costs in the San Francisco Bay Area.
While the Silicon Valley companies will now be giving back to the city more than they have in the past, a formalized shuttle system won't answer the concerns that the tech industry is causing class warfare in San Francisco. Housing prices in the city are skyrocketing out of the reach of ordinary citizens, and many are blaming the high-income individuals employed by companies like Facebook, Apple, and Google.
Set to begin in July of 2014, the program is expected to earn the city approximately $1.5 million over the course of 18 months, which will be used to cover enforcement of the program and evaluations on its efficiency. The $1 per stop fee is unlikely to have any significant impact on Apple or its employees, but it could help to ease tensions within the city.

(Image courtesy of The Castro Biscuit)

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

26 weeks ago

More government greed. Nothing new.


What a crock.

Public Transit and right-of-ways supported by the public shouldn't be double dipped for free by Corporations.
Rating: 17 Votes
26 weeks ago
Talk about class warfare...

If the companies did not provide the shuttle service, there would be more cars on the streets making traffic and pollution worse for everyone. Now the companies will be asked to pay for the "privilege" of providing a service that the transportation authorities are failing to do effectively. SF and Berkeley has the most bone headed city administrations in some respects.
Rating: 13 Votes
26 weeks ago

What a crock.

Public Transit and right-of-ways supported by the public shouldn't be double dipped for free by Corporations.


Except the companies here aren't making $ off the bus stop; it's just a convenient, logical, and safe place to pick up employees; employees who are SF citizens & pay property taxes (either as homeowners or indirectly as renters) which covers things like maintenance for that right-of-way sidewalk/bus stop (mass transit doesn't make a profit to cover all its expenses).

Also, in an era where gov't is trying to encourage ride sharing & mass transit why discourage companies from shuttling employees to work en mass vs the company subsiding parking or other commuter costs? That just creates more pollution and wear and tear on the roads.

Now if it was XYZ shuttle service offering service from SF to wherever for $ I'd agree. That's a for-profit service & that would be piggybacking. But these employee shuttles are not that.

BTW "corporations" is not a dirty word. It's just a word.
Rating: 12 Votes
26 weeks ago
More government greed. Nothing new.
Rating: 11 Votes
26 weeks ago
Wow, not a lot of popular support for the new bus tax on this forum. There are quite a few arguments for this tax:

(1) Cost Shifiting - The increased traffic of these bus stops due to private use was not foreseen during the design phase, and therefore the planned lifespan must be discounted accordingly. Increased maintenance costs and improvements due to this unforeseen use will now be borne by the private users.

(2) Ability to pay - Public transportation is a social good, and this puts the burden on those best able to pay.

(3) Punitive damages - This is a penalty enforced against the well-to-do by the envious.

All are sound theories
Rating: 9 Votes
26 weeks ago

Bus tax. I wonder what they'll do with the $1.5 million?


You have to ask? Waste it.
Rating: 6 Votes
26 weeks ago

Also known as "From each what he is able".

Anyways, I see no problem with charging for the buses. Most cities require you to pay to park. In exchange, tax rates can be lower. Similarly, tax rates go down in exchange for charging the busses to use the stops.

That's the theory, anyways. In reality, taxes never go down, but perhaps they'll maintain a constant level for a bit longer than they would otherwise.

If everybody rode buses, I don't think rush hours would exist anymore. For every 50 cars you see in rush hour, they could all be replaced with a single bus. You'd end up with 1/50 the volume on the road (a bus isn't much different from a car in looking at how much space they take up, on account of how much space each needs in front of them relative to their sizes.) I ride the bus 120 miles everyday to/from work (and the subway about 5 miles. My commute takes about 75 minutes, each way.)


One of Economic Professors put it this way (I'm paraphrasing):

"Americans want everyone else to use public transportation so the roads become less congested."

I think this about sums up the problem here.
Rating: 4 Votes
26 weeks ago

More government greed. Nothing new.


I'm sorry to burst your corporate-love-bubble.

But so suggest that governments are greedy is the most ironic statement of the day.

At least the government spends all its money. Apple site on $120,000,000,000.00 and continually increases its cash pile.

Corporations are the definition of greed, period.
Rating: 4 Votes
26 weeks ago
Aren't the busses already paying a tax to use the roadways? All their fees should be included in this. I hope some of these companies find a way around this fee.
Rating: 4 Votes
26 weeks ago
Exactly why does it cost money to use a bus stop? I don't get it. And isn't it a public bus stop, where people in the public wait for a bus. That doesn't cost money either. You pay to ride the bus, not wait for it. I guess this is what happens when poor people complain, who, ironically, likely don't pay enough taxes to run these buses.

----------

What a crock.

Public Transit and right-of-ways supported by the public shouldn't be double dipped for free by Corporations.


In pretty sure the denizens who wait for these buses do pay taxes. They're not using it for free. Not to mention the tax base these corporations serve.
Rating: 4 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]