Google bus backlash: S.F. to impose fees on tech shuttles
21 January 2014
Image: Paul Chinn/Chronicle
A recent study by DCRP graduate students Danielle Dai and David Weinzemmer was mentioned in an SF Gate article about fees being imposed onto corporate shuttles by the Municipal Transportation Agency.
Corporate shuttles, like the Google buses, will have to pay a fee of $1 per day, per stop and will no longer be allowed to stop in front of some of the busiest Muni stations. The fees, which are going to go into effect in July, would cost an average of $80,000 to $100,000 per operation each year. During a MTC meeting, critics of the buses said the fees were not enough. Residents who view the buses as symbols of gentrification and rising rent called for higher fees.
Dai’s and Weinzimmer’s study, “Riding First Class: Impacts of Silicon Valley Shuttles on Commute and Residential Location Choice,” found that 40% of the 130 shuttle riders would move close to their jobs in Silicon Valley and the Peninsula. Another 48% said they would start driving to work. The study found that the average “Google Bus” rider is a single male, about 30 with an income of $100,000 or more. They prefer to live in walkable neighborhoods and 85% rent homes. Dai and Weinzeimmer found that the shuttles exacerbate the jobs-housing imbalance by enabling individuals to live farther from work. They concluded that new policies should strike a balance between sustainability with existing land use patterns and better long-term transportation and land use planning.