But when these buses use public bus stops, they often screw up schedules and force public-bus passengers to get on and off at different stops or in the middle of the street. They block bike lanes and crosswalks, back up traffic, and don’t pay a dollar to the city.
This week, the city finally laid down the gauntlet on the buses – kind of. A new proposal would restrict the private shuttles to a network of about 100 city bus stops, require them to obtain permits, and pay some kind of fee — yet to be determined. As Bill Bradley writes at Next City, this all basically amounts to “asking the shuttles to play nice” with the public.
Perhaps nothing revealed the split between public and private services here more clearly than the recent transit strike, when BART workers shut down the regional transit system for four days to protest low wages and safety issues. While BART’s regular ridership — especially the 39 percent who are low-income — struggled to find another way to work, San Francisco’s tech workers just hopped onto their usual private coaches.