Muni could collect millions in fines against private shuttles — but it won't
"We are developing these policies to better utilize the boarding zones for these shuttle providers," Rose explained. "What we're trying to do is provide a more efficient transportation network."
To that end, the city has organized a series of stakeholder meetings in recent years with Google, Apple, Adobe, Genentech, the University of California San Francisco, and other shuttle providers to design a way for Muni buses and private buses to coexist in harmony, in city bus zones. Those conversations were referenced in the 2011 report; three years later, the pilot program is expected to solidify those discussions into a formalized system.
Here and there, some bus zones have already been altered to accommodate the private shuttle buses. "[An] extension of the Muni zone on 8th Street (in the South of Market) appears to be working well; although SFMTA Staff report that shuttle operators using the new zone have balked at the suggestion that they should help pay for the $1,500 improvement," the 2011 strategic analysis noted.
The plan that's coming down the pipe will essentially serve to legitimize what the shuttles are already doing. But so far, this deal won't result in any financial gain for the transportation agency. If it goes forward as planned, the opportunity to make transit improvements by collecting revenue from private companies that use public infrastructure will be passed up.