The fee for commuter shuttles used by companies such as Google to use city bus stops will be higher than initially proposed, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency announced today.
During an 18-month commuter shuttle pilot program slated to launch Aug. 1, the SFMTA will charge transportation service providers using the Muni network $3.55 per shuttle stop.
When the SFMTA approved the program in January it estimated the charge would be $1 per shuttle stop.
Carli Paine, the manager for the SFMTA pilot program, said providers are making about 40 percent fewer stops than initial estimates suggested.
Paine said the fees will cover the program’s fixed costs and will be spread over 2,449 stops, well under the 4,121 stops originally estimated.
The SFMTA Board of Directors is set to approve the proposed rate increase on Tuesday.
The $3.55 per stop charge will be in affect for the 2015 fiscal year, and the charge will increase to $3.67 for the 2016 fiscal year.
The total estimated program cost is expected to be $3.7 million, more than the January estimate of $1.7 million.
To account for the lower number of stops, the SFMTA has decreased the program’s administrative staffing, and costs associated with data collection and reporting. The SFMTA is increasing law enforcement staffing.
The program costs include developing the service network, administering the program, enforcing the program and painting and installing signs, according SFMTA officials.
Paine said 11 providers have submitted applications to provide service on the network, which consists of approximately 130 Muni stops.
The deadline for commuter shuttle companies to submit an application was last week.
The SFMTA plans on having 20 parking control officers working two three-hour shifts in the mornings and evenings Monday through Friday to enforce route regulations across the city.
The plan to allow private commuter shuttles to use public bus stops has been controversial with some opponents arguing it is another sign of the gentrification of the city.
In February, a coalition of housing, labor and LGBT advocates filed an appeal against the city’s plan arguing the buses are adding to the displacement of residents. The city’s Board of Supervisors denied the appeal by an 8-2 vote in April.
The SFMTA board of directors will vote on the fee increase at its meeting on Tuesday, July 15.
Dennis Culver, Bay City News