Tech company buses take their employees from the Mission to the Valley, local colleges’ vans move riders from campus to campus, and many elderly community members get door-to-door pick-up and drop-off service from passenger coaches daily: the private shuttle bus business in SF is booming. But can they share space with our public transit, or should they?
As KCBS reports, officials believe private shuttle buses move over 5,000 people a day (as opposed to just 2,000 three years ago).
But with this boom comes some problems — since the shuttles don’t have their own designated stops, they must frequently double park, blocking traffic lanes and slowing the passage of cars and, yes, Muni.
Carli Paine, a project director at the SFMTA, tells KCBS, “as the sector grows, our policy framework hasn’t caught up.”
Banning the buses altogether (which has been suggested!) is not an option, however. Private shuttle buses cart everyone around from students to businessmen and without them, the potential number of cars officials believe a ban might send back on the roads has convinced the SFMTA to see if there’s a way for the shuttles to share Muni stops.
“It behooves us to work together to figure out where do they stop, because we want them to stop somewhere that’s safe, that’s convenient for them, and that doesn’t cause conflict,” Paine says.
No timeline has been set for when these new sharing regulations might be proposed, so until then, let’s speculate!