THE CORPORATE B.S. LINE–DO NOT BE FOOLED!: “Isn’t it better than everyone driving?”
We hear this response from 95% of you, so we know it must be what’s being served at the trough.
You have been sold the tech lies, and we understand. They are very adept at misinformation. You don’t understand, it’s true. But there is hope for you, because you have arrived here. Many of you have genuinely asked about this, so please, a re-education. The following is a summary of posts on this topic, so that you may know the facts about this situation, and understand why citizens are outraged:
The tech buses were put in without anyone’s consent. There was no interaction, town hall, ballot, errrmmm…VOTE—nothing whatsoever. Incredibly, environmental review was bypassed, when the corporations paid off the city! The City, SFMTA, and or glorious representation has completely sold us out for greed’s sake.
Now approximately 80 buses run in our neighborhood from 6am until 10am, vibrating our homes, making it impossible to sleep or breathe, live peacefully, or rent units near these stops—the tailpipes are in our windows! Try it sometime! OUR roads were not made for these behemoths—these are neighborhoods, not terminals! These are 40 foot plus INTERCITY highway motor coaches ruining the livability of our neighborhoods!
Here’s a critical factor you may want to consider: some buses are completely empty, others near-empty, and most perhaps 25% full! Sometimes they drop off ONE person right in front of our homes at night and idle! So yes—in many cases it would indeed be better to have passenger vehicles, especially electric ones! Just because the City and SFMTA sold us out when our backs were turned does not mean we will give in to this abuse! We are natives, and long-term residents! Do we all have to suffer so you entitled, inconsiderate pawns can put your feet up and have your laundry done for free, and so that the corporations can get more work time out of you?! Will your egocentric presumptuousness never end? It’s all about greed, and selfish isn’t smart—we’re sick of it!
THE BUSES ARE THE CAUSE, NOT THE SOLUTION!
It’s BECAUSE of the buses that such a disproportionate, neighborhood and tradition-destroying mass of techies moved to the city. If not for the forcing of these buses upon our city, many would have lived closer to their jobs! And no, don’t give us that “Oh, it changed when the Italians, Irish, etc. moved here.” Yea—those were DIVERSE groups of working-class individuals who built a community for all…some carpenters, some bakers, some doctors…some 6 months old, some 101. That is, a CULTURE, and an ASSET. We don’t give a fuc* about your app, nor your mind-numbing corporate sell-out society, nor your perfect little carry sack. You stay removed in your headphone world, never glancing away enough to appraise your environment, nor lend anything to it…perhaps long enough to see how you’ve destroyed it, and how much you’ve ruined these same communities. Because of your infiltration, true San Franciscans can’t even afford to live here! You’ve done nothing but increase the divide. Have you noticed the homeless you step over and scorn?
THERE IS NO ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE WITHOUT SOCIAL JUSTICE! And now you tell me that diesel buses on our front lawns, impacting health, peace, noise, disabled and elderly, is the way? Forced evictions are HIGHEST where these stops exist. These buses and this system are a direct source of the shameful gentrification that has destroyed the Mission, and the diversity and interest of the City as a hole and made it a pathetic corporate sell-out! Families that had lived here for generations, now have to commute hours to jobs downtown, including those in hotels, etc., greatly adding to pollution, so what’s the advantage? There is no environmental justice without social justice, and this system has neither! It is not 120 cars off the road per bus—that is the Corporate Big Lie—it’s more like 120 families evicted per bus—look at the larger issues!
This is the best solution? How about Google and Apple put ONE person in a room for even ONE hour to research options that actually respect the city and its residents? How about hubs outside our neighborhoods, utilizing alternative energies, electric bikes, bikes, corporate incentives to utilize them and display a concern for your neighborhood and environment, rather than forcing eminent domain?! Shame on you if you’re so f-ing lazy—mid-20’s in great health, and you can’t get off your ass to contribute to a balanced and fair society—very impressive. How about these corporations that make cajillions off us contribute to the improvement of our public transportation system, rather than whining about it?
Public streets are for the PUBLIC—this is PRIVATE ENTERPRISE! They ruin our roads, and pay a pittance to do so. They write-off the expense, as do many of the riders, leaving us with the bill! They clog our sidewalks with lines of world-oblivious drones. They make the bike paths we worked hard to get dangerously impossible to utilize. These are public roads, so get the fuc* off them so we can use them safely!
Some of the passengers of the tech shuttle buses actually PAY because they are not technically employees of a tech company. Instead, they are contractors. Just another way the City is being taken to the cleaners. Also, a year ago there were 932 tech shuttles buses with placards. That’s more than Muni’s entire fleet of rubber tire buses (electric buses and non-electric). They aren’t all operating on the streets at the same time, but the ones that are are in very concentrated parts of the city, not spread out like Muni buses. The tech shuttles operate in Noe Valley, the Haight, the Marina, Park Presidio and Geary, and a few other places.
YOUR commute does not take precedence over our ability to live and honor our city and its tradition! In short time, you have taken one of the great cities in the world and sold it out to disgusting tech corporations that quell individual thought and expression. Shameful, especially here!
Ya’ get it now?
The Tech bus is out-sized, polluting (Nitrogen dioxide from diesel endangers respiratory systems and is carcinogenic), noisy, and little regulated. There is virtually no cooperation between the sponsor companies, although all carriers are headed in the same direction. This free-for-all has resulted in redundancy, near-empty buses, a 13-hr. schedule, and exponentially growing numbers of buses and their sponsors. NOx emissions, based on official tests now considered too low, from the average shuttle are approximately 32 times greater per mile than a passenger car.
The argument of increased car use is a specious one. First of all, a large number of the Tech workers don’t own cars. Nor is there parking in SF for them if they did go out and get them. Secondly, 300,000 cars go in and out of SF daily. If the 10,000 Tech workers shared cars or van-pooled; the resulting addition of another 2,500 cars to that volume would be negligible. Furthermore, If the Tech workers were forced to drive, their protests would compel their employers to come up with a thought-out, industry-wide solution rather than the each-for-his-own Wild West commute that has the City in its stranglehold.
The response “Do you want us all to get in cars?” strikes at the heart of the problem. No one — not the city, not the tech companies, not the tech riders — is thinking inventively about this invasive, exploitive and disorganized corporate commute system. Highly competitive companies that don’t want to cooperate, even though they are all headed in the same southern direction. They want to keep their employees content and in their control. (Although the same employees move often between the rival companies.) In the reckless manner that Facebook has recently revealed, the three major tech companies run these buses in a despotic manner, purposefully blind to any collateral damage their mega diesel transports might wrought.
Genentech’s false propaganda relayed by its sign about its buses keeping 120 cars off the road has worked on a lot of people. Last week one of its workers announced to me that Genentech doesn’t have enough pkg. for all its employees. Nor does Google. Plus Menlo Park has levied “trip catches” on its freeway exits, so that Facebook employees also cannot all drive. Yet SF refuses to force these companies to the table.
When the buses appeared, they violated the law by occupying the Red Bus zones. Newsom was mayor and favorable to the Tech Industry as he hosted a radio show either as Supervisor or Mayor. The SFMTA really was not involved initially. The SF County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) board directed the SFCTA staff to perform a Strategic Analysis Report (SAR) about the Commuter Buses impact on SF traffic. Bevin Dufty as Commissioner (Supervisor) requested this.
Scroll down to SAR 08/09-2 completed Jun 28, 2011. The SAR began in 2008, was revised in 2009 because of the increasing magnitude of the problem and finally completed in 2011. The SFCTA Strategic Analysis Report 08/09-2was completed for $75,000 and never reimbursed by the Tech industry. The 1/2cent sales tax we pay ate the cost.
SFMTA then became the responsible agency. However Carli Paine was assigned the project, departed on maternity leave, only to have the MTA performed another survey to formulate the 18 month PILOT Program that commenced August 1, 2014.)
Michael Bauer (of the Black Buses) was quoted that he thought there was an “agreement” not to ticket the buses because the Police in either the North Beach or Van Ness area were ticketing the buses.
The City may have lacked the power to stop them. Well, the buses can operate on the streets like any other vehicle. However, the buses cannot stop anywhere they want. They cannot stop in red zones, double park. The City lacked the manpower and resources to cite all the violations. So the City “Accommodated” the commuter buses.
So during the Pilot, the shared Muni Red zone stops and created white zones allowed the buses to stop. During the Pilot the buses, regardless of size, operated on all streets. Examples included steep Noe Street between 26th and Cesar Chavez and narrow Vicksburg. MTA never defined Steep and Narrow in objective numerical terms. Citizen Complaints drove the decision. Citizen Complaints about big bus operation on neighborhood streets during the 18 month Pilot, resulted in the development of “Minor/Major Arterial” routing. Relieved the neighborhood streets, but focused the increasing number of buses on specific streets.
Suggest incorporate a “one Seat commute” has consequences when living and working an hour apart. Companies want to get the employee “on the Clock” by providing WiFi and be productive on the trip.
Also distant worksite local land use decisions and local work site traffic mitigation to use company commuter buses transfers the congestion to the employee’s neighborhood which we all endure.
From Alex at SFMTA:
No worries. According to the shuttle stop event schedules, 71 shuttles stop at San Jose & Valley each morning. It may be slightly higher than that as we recently discovered some operators were accidentally counting their morning stop events at San Jose & Valley as occurring at the evening stop at San Jose & 29th – 79 stop events are recorded at San Jose & 29th, but if they are actually the same at each stop it would be 75 daily stop events at each location.
…I counted 60 carriers between 7 and 9 at Valley and San Jose. (My count included about 7 that passed and did not stop, but added to the overall effect.) What is the total number of stop events at that stop? I understand that the first carrier arrives around 5:15 and a 61st passed, but did not stop, 30 seconds after the passing 60th at 8:57…
1. There is also the issue that the South Bay communities are not building housing to keep up with the job centers they are permitting. “Instead of allowing the mega diesel vehicles to fan taxi-like across San Francisco to pick up passengers in their neighborhoods, the sensible policy would have been to direct the riders to collection points on the periphery or outside of the City. This would have spared the City…at fairly modest inconvenience to the Tech bus riders. Indeed, the Silicon Valley worker has a wide choice of modes — from public transport to bicycle to car share — for that first leg.”
2. Here’s the current # of tech shuttle buses with placards” 180201.04 Sue Vaughan How many commuter shuttle buses have placards? Alex Jonlin Complete There are 996 vehicles permitted as of February 2018.
Although not all of these tech shuttles are operating at the same time, this is more than the entire Muni rubber tire fleet.
3. You might be interesting in looking at the responses to this Request for Information matrix. There are several questions about the tech shuttles:
Congratulations to the Chronicle, DPW, MTA, and the City Attorney for their successful raid on the threatening LimeBike, Spin, and Bird scooters. While the police removed these toys from the sidewalk, 40’+ buses roared by on schedule to make their more than 3,000 daily “stop events.” At the locale at one of these “stop events,” namely 29th and San Jose, that number translates into 75 vehicles in the AM (a very few vans), all emitting their poisonous Nitrogen oxide (carcinogenic and damaging to respiratory systems) and their particulate matter, combined with a clatter that drowns out the comforting sounds of ordinary life.
One time the 13 companies involved coordinated in a meaningful way and that was to squash any chance of environmental review of this giant private transportation system. The subsequent lack of any rational planning guaranteed the present free-for-all. As currently arranged, the MTA collects data, but the sponsor companies, Apple, Facebook, Netflix, etc., enjoy anonymity. Earlier in the program, the City had reacted to widespread pushback by the residential neighborhoods by restricting the invading armada to a limited number of streets. That move served to intensify the ills afflicted by these private fleets and resulted in privileging the more affluent neighborhoods at the expense of poorer ones.
Following the February 2017 meeting which anointed the army of corporate buses as a fully-fledged part of everyday life, Facebook’s lobbyist cited “intellectual property” as the reason his company could not share its transportation. So to protect Facebook and the other Internet giants’ privacy, we suffer their dirt, their noise, and their stench.