Tech companies such as Apple and Google will pay $1 per stop, per day for employee shuttle bus services using public bus stops in San Francisco — according to a new pilot program approved by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA).
In a scheme that will bring in around $1.5 million in fees over an 18-month trial, companies such as Apple will pay SFMTA more than $100,000, while smaller tech companies will pay around $80,000 per year. Any money gained will be put back into the program to cover administrative fees, permits, enforcement, and other related costs.
“The commuter shuttle sector has grown very rapidly, and it [has] created some impacts on Muni (San Francisco public transportation),” noted Carly Payne, a project manager for the pilot, in an official hearing regarding the scheme. “Our approach has been to resolve the problems in an ad hoc way, but the sector is so large now that that’s not really a sustainable approach.”
In addition to paying to use bus stops, private shuttles will additionally be kitted out with GPS to measure their impact on other buses and general traffic.
Shuttle bus services have become an increasing issue for many San Francisco residents in recent times: for many people being viewed as a symbol of the wealth disparity between high tech workers and the lower-paid San Francisco residents increasingly priced out of the local housing market.
Ongoing protests have seen a number of buses for both Apple and Google experience impaired journeys.
The pilot program will start in July this year.
Source: The Verge