MTA Finds One Transit Option Not Broken – Moves to Break It

Reset San Francisco Stories to Follow: SFMTA may regulate private shuttlesSan Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency has a lot on its hands.

From Muni buses that don’t come on time, a search for a new chief (since Nat Ford is leaving and taking his $384,000 severance package with him) and cleaning up yesterday’s light rail mess, it’s hard to imagine MTA wanting to make things even more difficult for themselves.

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But if they didn’t, well then they wouldn’t be SFMTA.

According to an SF Examiner article, SFMTA may become more involved in regulating private shuttles that transport thousands of San Francisco residents per day.

How about that? The people who can’t make their own buses run on time may now regulate the people who can.

Private shuttles are becoming increasingly important to San Franciscans that work in Silicon Valley at companies like Google, Yahoo, Apple and Genentech. The shuttles carry some 4,000 people a day to the South Bay and Peninsula. That’s not even counting the 17,000 San Franciscans who use private shuttles to go from transit stations to Mission Bay  - a 325% increase, according to the Examiner.

In total, these private buses take roughly 327,000 cars off the road each year.

There are neighbors who are not so thrilled with the private shuttles – and rightfully so. They can be loud and take up too much room on some of San Francisco’s notoriously narrow streets.

The City should certainly work with the private companies to ensure that designated pick-up locations do not block residential roads or intrude on neighbors. Having pick-up locations close to Muni stops makes sense, as long as the shuttles don’t create even longer delays for the already inefficient Muni system.

Additionally, these companies should hold community meetings to make sure those living in the neighborhoods the buses serve can have their concerns addressed.

Addressing the concerns of neighbors – important. Giving that job to the SFMTA, which routinely ignores customer concerns – questionable.

So for most of us here at Reset, the idea of giving the failing SFMTA the power to regulate one of the few transportation systems that actually works seems like a recipe for disaster.

But what do you think? Should SFMTA regulate the service of private shuttles in addition to its other responsibilities? Take our poll.

 

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Paid for by Phil Ting for Assembly 2012. FPPC ID# 1343137