Study: 30 percent of tech shuttle riders would move from SF if there were no tech shuttles


We weren’t able to attend the San Francisco Commission on the Environment’s policy committee meeting on Mon/13, but there were clues (okay, a live Twitter feed) that the debate around the city’s tech shuttle policy was heating up.

The SF Environment commissioners were considering the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s newly introduced private shuttle pilot program, a system that will require tech shuttles to pay for their routine use of Muni bus stops.



(San Francisco does have its share of endearing local-government nerds.)

There were a few interesting tidbits from the exchange between Carli Paine, the SFMTA project manager who is overseeing the tech shuttle policy, and the San Francisco Environment commissioners. 

For one thing, Paine said the SFMTA’s game plan for enforcing the new shuttle program “is to have parking control officers that are dedicated to the program, that are working overtime hours. So they won’t be drawn from other duties.” 

Apparently the $1 per stop, per day fee – which will only allow the agency to break even – will be enough to support an enforcement strategy that envisions paying enforcement officers with 100 percent overtime pay.

Then there was another interesting exchange, in which Paine indicated that a lot of people had been wanting to know whether tech shuttle riders were relocating to San Francisco specifically because the private transportation system made it easier for them to commute to Silicon Valley tech campuses.

When commissioner Ruth Gravanis queried Paine on that point, the SFMTA project manager referenced a University of California at Berkeley study finding that around 30 percent of shuttle riders surveyed would relocate out of San Francisco without the transportation option.

Audio editing by Rebecca Bowe.

Apparently there was quite a public comment session too. SF Environment spokesperson Guillermo Rodriguez told us the meeting brought “a very lively debate.”





At the end of the meeting, the commissioners approved the resolution after making a few amendments that urge the SFMTA “to engage in a robust study of the program’s success in reducing the unintended impacts of commuter shuttles, including their impacts on all San Franciscans.”

The SFMTA board will be voting on the plan on Jan. 21 at 1pm, Room 400, San Francisco City Hall.