Major 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)
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