Another reason corporate shuttles are a problem

Google this! (Photo from Uptown Almanac)

They're huge, and they block Muni stops, and they crowd into narrow streets. And now there's another reason the city needs to get into the businesses of regulating private corporate shuttles:

The buses can get stuck on the hills.

Uptown Almanac has a great item, with excellent photos and a video, of a Google shuttle getting caught in Noe Valley, beached like a whale at 23rd and Chattanooga. A pickup truck tries in vain to haul the monster away.

Folks: The streets of SF's neighborhoods weren't designed for 50-foot luxury coaches. Someone's got to write some rules about where these private shuttles can go -- and where they can't. 


Or is that somehow different, because it's not part of your anti-success and anti-privilege crusade?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 10:07 am

There should be clear markings on the sides identifying that the shuttles are carrying wealthy, successful kids. We should be able to know where they are and what they are doing at all times.

Posted by Steroidal Progressive on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 10:26 am

It was probably a bus taking disabled children on a trip to the beach.

Paid for by Google.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 10:44 am

and take lots of cars off the road in the process. But Tim hates them because they're nice inside and the people riding them are successful. In Tim's worldview that means they should be investigated and regulated - and preferably terminated so people can share the misery of MUNI and BART like he does everyday.

Envy and resentment together form a very poor basis for public policy Tim. Yours especially.

Posted by Troll II on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 11:04 am

around this city seething with resentment every time he sees somebody being successful and enjoying the prosperity that they have created.

He is just so much more comfortable with losers and laggards. Sadly the left is obsessed with envy.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 11:20 am

and doing the right thing. Genentech, Yahoo, Google, Apple and others don't HAVE to run shuttles - they do it because it makes for better employees and helps them meet greenhouse gas goals. Everyone wins - but that makes Tim angry. Because when everyone's winning that means the resentment he uses to fuel the progressive left forward is running in short supply and we absolutely can't have that.

The neighborhood associations aren't against these shuttles, the employees love them, MUNI and BART administrators love them so why make this a fighting issue?

The answer - resentment. Resentment is the fuel which fires progressives.

Posted by Troll II on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 11:32 am

for the damage, the disruption, and the use of city resources to extract the bus.

Posted by Greg on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 11:29 am

Are you always this petty and vindictive?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 11:51 am

You wouldn't want taxpayers footing the bill for this, would you?

Posted by Greg on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

We just disrupted them from their donuts.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

exactly? This shows your welfare-mindset - that when a problem occurs the first thing you expect to do is call the gub'mint and ask for help. Guess what? Most of us don't. The shuttle service most likely called in a tow truck (the city does not provide towing services - it contracts those out to independent service providers) itself. The city didn't "foot the bill" for anything.

Posted by Troll II on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

What about the damage to the road and the cable car lines?
What about the time of the police officers who had to stand there and redirect traffic while traffic got snarled behind the bus?
And what about the pain-in-the ass and aggravation that it caused other citizens?

Posted by Greg on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

What reject thinks we have cable cars in Noe Valley?

Better yet, who is going to reimburse me for the pain in the ass aggravation reading Gregs post is giving me?

Posted by Coitthroat on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

Either way, the damage is still done. Either way you and I have to pay for all the associated costs of a corporation's idiotic move. That's why I hope the city fights to extract every last cent from this corporation.

Funny how all the moderates' much vaunted fiscal conservatism disappears when it's corporations wasting our money.

Posted by Greg on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 2:03 pm

They're not "moderates."

"Moderate" is now Orwellian newspeak for conservative/right-wing.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

I thought it was only the Tea Party that moved the goalposts. Since when are moderate Democrats "conservative/right-wing"?

Posted by Hortencia on Oct. 02, 2012 @ 5:04 pm

the long-brewing reactionary answer to the populist awakening the brought widespread unionism and universal suffrage back in the day.

Even 40 years ago, a Republican president (Nixon) contemplated a national minimum income like Britain's dole and he *signed* the Environmental Protection Act which the current crop of Repugs view with bitter enmity.

Pompous lying pundits such as Bill O'Reilly spread the idea that Democrats are of the "FAR LEFT!" while they are infact NOTHING OF THE SORT; the *far* *left* -- perhaps D'Naive will be surprised to find -- think that at the least, the means of production should *not* be in private hands.

The current attitudes may have swung rightward (more significantly we are inculcated with that belief by a compliant corporate media) but it does not indicate a need to modify the meaning of the underlying terms; such modification only serves to stifle debate and understanding of what has been going on.

Nowadays, there is not only hardly a dime's worth of difference between national Democrats and Republicans, but both parties are in thrall to their corporate masters. Yes. The goal posts have moved. They did it. I -- and others -- have noticed. It is not for you to claim that the change is in our imagination because such talk is based either on ignorance or duplicity.

Thank you.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 02, 2012 @ 6:58 pm

Ever consider that the employees riding these shuttles pay plenty of taxes to the city for services that they don't use?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

I'm quite sure this incident didn't cause the backups and headaches that months of Occupy protests caused city pedestrians, MUNI and BART riders and drivers.

Just a bus which got stuck - it's not a nuclear crisis. It doesn't require regulation or more laws - it just happened.

Posted by Troll II on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

Get off my lawn!

Posted by Chromefields on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

...of progressivism: seething with anger and resentment. In those case it's directed at those who are fortunate to work for corporations that provide transportation and reduce pollution and congestion.

But since these are successful companies with well-paid employees, Tim needs to gin up the resentment.

In Tim's world all transportation should be run like the bloated, inefficient bureaucracy that is Muni.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

Why isn't Google and Genetech using UC shuttle type vehicles? The UC shuttles seem to work fine and they're small. They don't seem to be concerned with "luxury and "luxuriating" and pretentiousness. The UC shuttles are much more "friendly" for narrower streets. Do the bourgeois elite really need all this "titanic"-sized bus purely to show off their elitism and wealth? Who exactly are they trying to impress with these ships? These huge buses really look rather outdated as from a different era.


Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

That's why. Would you rather have one large bus or 4-5 smaller ones?

And guess what? I am probably better than you in many, many ways.

Posted by Troll II on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

The shuttles make other stops and are full by the time they get to the Googleplex. They are a lot easier on the environment then a fleet of smaller busses.

You really can't expect Google to use a less efficient fleet with a higher carbon footprint just because of your social insecurities. You're just going to have to deal with what you perceive as displays of 'elitism and wealth' but remember, the problem is in you, not the busses, so that's where you should look to resolve it.

Posted by Troll on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 2:26 pm

But it's quite reasonable to expect these wealthy corporations to pay for the use of MUNI stops. It's also reasonable to expect that 50 foot long vehicles - especially commercial vehicles would be restricted from certain residential areas. Some streets can handle heavy commercial traffic and others can't - it's time the City & County of San Francisco had some responsible policies in place around this issue.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

And what residential areas are so overrun with Google and Genentech shuttles that they require a special ordinance to regulate this activity?

This is a problem in search of a solution and it comes right on top of that dumb SFBG article a month ago where the writer railed on the unfairness of providing nice shuttles for Genentech and UCSF employees while she had to ride dirty ol' MUNI.

Posted by Troll II on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 6:44 pm

I would think that the UC shuttles are better for the environment than these big tanks that Google and Genetech use, so I would think that multiple UC shuttles would likely be better for the environment than just ONE of these ships. Also, often when I see these Google and Genetech ships, there's often very few people in them. Is that because they're not that well used or because most people have already gotten off the thing?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

Adding more vehicles to the road is never a better idea. The goal is reducing private vehicle use and on that count this program is an enormous success.

You're resentment is showing in your comment though - let it burn. Let it guide you.

Posted by Troll II on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 3:22 pm

Also, by using multiple UC shuttle type vehicles, the employees of Google and Genetech would have more flexibility on arrival and departure times to the company, the way it works with UCSF employees. I've never seen a UCSF vehicle get stuck on the street because of size or tie up traffic anywhere.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 3:28 pm

I agree they take cars off the road. That's a good thing, and I'm glad the Googlers have a nide ride to work. If the shuttles were crappy nobody would take them, then they'd all drive, which would be bad for all of us.

But I do think that the city needs to step in here with some reasonable regulations. If Google wants to use Muni stops, they should pay a fee -- and work with the Muni buses so as not to create traffic problems. There should be (reasonable) rules on which streets they can use, to avoid this sort of problem. Some streets in SF aren't designed for 50-foot two-axle vehicles of this design. You don't see the huge articulated Muni buses along the narrow streets of North Beach or Bernal or Noe; Muni designs its bus lines for the streets they use.

This isn't resentment, it's common sense. You trolls so want to attack me that you'll use the most ridiculous lens you can find. Lighten up, and let's have some honest discussions.

Posted by tim on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

"You trolls so want to attack me that you'll use the most ridiculous lens you can find."

Well that's what trolls do by their nature. They write ridiculous and outrageous things to inflame. They are so needy of attention. They are such pathetic people. That's why I just ignore them. They are not worth one's time. In fact, they can be quite draining of one's time and energy if one allows them to. Just Ignore.

"Lighten up, and let's have some honest discussions."

LOL. Honest discussion from trolls? That will be the day! That's not why they're here nor is honest discussion with them possible. Even if they come off as somewhat rationale on the odd occasion, their post usually has their snarky-nasty trademark attached to it. Again, just ignore them.

I agree with what you said about the shuttle topic.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 4:34 pm
Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

then maybe it wouldn't be in perpetual crisis like the SF Weekly cover story showed illustrated today.

Tim should not be using MUNI to illustrate anything other than the folly of state-owned and operated transportation systems in the United States.

Posted by Troll II on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 7:11 pm

It is such a consistent pattern...find a benefit that the rich enjoy and either take it away from them or tax them some more. Are those busses really the only huge vehicles using city streets? Or is it really a matter of WHO is in the bus. The only issue with any reality behind it is the use of Muni stops. But don't Muni busses have cameras to photograph such offenders? If not, give some of them a Cannon Sure Shot ($79 at Staples) and let them take pictures as a basis for a fine.

This article was just plane silly. Of course that bus doesn't get stuck on that hill every day. It was a weekend and the driver apparently didn't know what the heck he/she was doing. It is entirely possible that Google was allowing the bus to be used for some type of community service. A Muni driver took down the power lines at 5th and Market last week, but the rich couldn't be blamed for that I guess. That incident should not be used as an indictment against a good service.

Posted by Troll on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 5:30 pm

Los Gatos Google Shuttles Cause Concern
Parents Upset that the Buses Block Bike Lanes when Kids are Trying to get to School

Posted by Guest on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 7:11 pm

But we're talking about San Francisco.

Posted by Troll II on Jun. 12, 2012 @ 7:35 pm

I haven't had the chance to ride in one, but I have seen the inside of one, they are nice. Big comfy seats, restroom in the back and curtains to close when you don't want the sun. The private shuttles is a way to get people of those streets, last time I checked MUNI doesn't go the Googleplex, it will take you to Twitter. I don't see what don't we charge the private transportation companies use of MUNI stops.

Posted by Garrett on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 8:29 am
Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 8:53 am

...How many articles has Tim written about the horrible service delivered by Muni, or when one of Muni's careless drivers runs over a pedestrian in a crosswalk or when an inattentive driver takes down power lines.

Tim: let's begin the honest discussions on the inefficiency of Muni and please don't give us your stock answer of Muni's problems can be solved with more taxpayer money. Muni employees are amongst the highest paid transportation workers in the country.

A family friend was run over by a Muni bus a few years back and received a substantial settlement.

Here's a story idea for you: how much does it cost the city when incompetent drivers run over people, how much has the city paid out in settlements, and why can't the city fire these drivers and employees.

Of course, for the likes of Tim: success = bad

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

the same companies that provide those luxury private coaches with onboard everything.

And private bus drivers cost maybe 30K pa as against twice that plus ludicrous benefits for an overpaid, rude, incompetent muni driver.

No brainer.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

MUNI operates using 60's era technology, can't track parts, repairs bus roofs with Hefty garbage bags and doors with rubber bands, pays some of its mechanics $120,000 a year including overtime and has breakdown rates far higher than other transit systems of comparable size - while service continues to decline.

What they need is more money - clearly. Lots and lots and lots more money.

Posted by Troll II on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

work there,upgrade the rolling stock and install onboard video and wifi and coffee. Charge $5 a trip and it won't cost the city a dime.

I'd easy pay $5 for a bus that doesn't stink of piss and have abusive homeless people yelling and screaming.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

and early 90s before city government decided to get serious with scofflaw employees and miscreants who abused riders. It took close coordination with the NYPD and MTA police and a judge fining the employee union millions of dollars, docking union member wages and suspending union dues collections for over a year - but they eventually came around to the fact that they served at the pleasure of the public and not their own whims.

Contrast that with MUNI's militant unions - who view passengers and city government both as the enemy and see both as a cow which needs to be milked and milked for more money for them.

What we need if for an epic confrontation to occur between MUNI unions and city government - one where MUNI employees strike and shut down the whole system and in consequence the mayor acts decisively to break the back of the union and rid the system of parasitic employees who do as little as possible while earning big bucks. Only then can we reclaim MUNI for the riders.

Posted by Troll II on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

bring about the crisis it so desperately needs to be reformed.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 4:12 pm

rather than raise Muni's standards to those of the private buses, he'd rather hinder them and bring their standards to those of Muni.

Success is not to be rewarded, instead it must be punished.

I have no problems in paying more taxes as long as there is accountability, which does not exist in many of the public services provided by the City.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 13, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

We want jobs!

We have jobs!....but people are commuting!

Commuters are bad...we want carpooling!

Carpools are inefficient...we want buses!

Buses are big...we want cars!

Cars are bad...we don't want commuters!

No one is working...we want jobs!!!

And on and on and on it goes....

Posted by Oy on Jun. 14, 2012 @ 9:00 am

everyone, but probably nobody more than others on the left who have slightly different views and priorities.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 14, 2012 @ 9:12 am

Unfortunately, there are no perfect solutions to the problem of commuter traffic. However, we should be happy that businesses have taken it upon themselves to spend their own money (i.e., tax themselves) in order to reduce congestion.

We should also be happy that employees are willing to forego the convenience of their own cars.

In any event, if someone handed Tim Redmond $1,000,000,000 in cash, he'd complain about the burden of having to go to the bank to deposit it.

Posted by Oy on Jun. 14, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

Well the sight of that bus used by a wealthy corporation stuck on a hill made Tim positively giddy.

But to follow up on your thought, I think that the SFBG would be perfectly fine with those busses if the people who used them permanently and irrevocably gave up their constitutional right to ever vote in any election affecting the City and County of San Francisco.

Posted by Troll on Jun. 14, 2012 @ 9:07 am

Google moves people from all over the Bay Area to ensure they can get to work safely and don't require a car. They alone take over 5000 individual car drivers OFF THE ROAD and cut Co2 emissions.

sorry, but those are facts. they are doing a good thing. just because you poverty pimp leftists can't stand the idea of someone working hard and getting paid for a job instead of getting a welfare check doesn't mean it's a bad thing. Sucks to be you (and soon you'll be kicked out of SF anyway so who cares what you hippie dippies think)

Posted by Guest on Jun. 15, 2012 @ 1:57 pm