Who influenced the Google-bus policy?


On SFBG.com last week, we published a list of the attendees (and corporate affiliations) who were recorded as having attended stakeholder meetings with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to discuss that private shuttle pilot program that caused such a dustup last month. The list is a matter of public record and was submitted to the Bay Guardian by a source who wished to remain anonymous.

Google was in the room, of course, but not all attendees were affiliated with corporate shuttle providers who bus employees to their workplaces. One company, called Leap Transit, has started a private luxury bus in San Francisco that is not affiliated with any particular employer.

"Our buses are clean and our staff is friendly," according to Leap's website. "Sip your morning coffee in peace." (Leap did not respond to our request for an interview about its future plans.)

Another participant who seemed a bit far afield from the transportation sector was a representative from TMG Partners, a real-estate developer. Also included in the meeting was a representative from a law firm called Morrison Foerster which has represented major tech investors such as Kleiner Perkins, according to its website, which can be found at mofo.com.

How did these individuals manage to get invites? We emailed SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose to ask that question. He told us, "When we started the work, we received a set of shuttle sector contacts from the [San Francisco County Transportation Authority], who started looking at this issue. One of the first things we did was reach out to these companies and confirm the right contact people. We also reached out to companies who we'd heard had shuttles."

He added, "Over time, additional shuttle service providers and companies that offer shuttles for their employees contacted the agency to let us know that they were either providing service or considering to provide shuttle service and wanted to know about our policy development process. This also grew our list. And, as we heard about new shuttle programs, we reached out the companies to make contact. Also, at meetings with shuttle providers, we also asked if there were other providers we should include. Some members of the shuttle sector brought their legal or PR reps with them to the meetings — they were not on our list."


Why weren't these policy meetings noticed to the public?

Posted by marcos on Feb. 19, 2014 @ 6:15 am

meetings are invariably attended by people who are biased anyway. It's just that in this case you do not like the bias.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 19, 2014 @ 8:07 am

This whole situation is sick and further demonstrates that the tech world (and those working with them) is getting a better deal then the rest of us. SFMTA and the Mayor have created some real ill will with the public by allowing the $1 per stop policy.

Instead of buying private shuttle systems ow about google and everyone else pay their taxes so we can have an effective public transit system in the whole bay area that everybody can use?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 19, 2014 @ 8:17 am

stops to the actual marginal cost of that use, which is trivial given that the infrastructure is already there.

And of course a shuttle bus only uses it ten times a week.

The city gains through having high-earning, high-spending folks in our neighborhoods providing business and city revenues.

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Posted by Information about China and Hong Kong on Aug. 05, 2014 @ 2:19 am

means that regardless of infrastructure or organization, be it an institution or business, they need to pay their "fair-share" to improve transit for ALL

$1.00 does not cut it.

$2.00 is for the general public

based on percentage of income means that the tech.sector could easily be assessed

$4-5.00 per person on each bus... That would fund improvements in PUBLIC TRANSIT.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 20, 2014 @ 10:45 pm

To allow such usurpation of Public Space, in this case MUNI bus stops, by Google buses amount to piracy. SFMTA should be dissolved and MUNI given back to the Borad of Supervisors. SFMTA aren't for the interest of the public rather for Corporate dictate and the killing of our Transit. For no amount of money should our Public Bus stops be given to any one to use. This is going to cause delays and an onslaught on what we have left of our tattered MUNI. Stop the SFMTA, now.
Nafiss Griffis

Posted by nafiss griffis on Feb. 21, 2014 @ 10:52 pm

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