Apple, Google Shuttles to Pay to Use Public Bus Stops in San Francisco

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Major tech companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook often use private buses to ferry employees from living areas in San Francisco and the bay area to company campuses in places like Cupertino, Mountain View, and Menlo Park.

    Previously, the city was not receiving any income from the campus buses, even though they often used city bus stops. Today that changed as the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) approved a pilot proposal (via The Verge) that will require commuter shuttle buses from companies like Apple to pay $1 for each stop they make every day.

    Commuter shuttle buses have been subject to several protests over the course of the last few months, with activists in the area attacking employee buses in protest of rising housing costs in the San Francisco Bay Area.
    Set to begin in July of 2014, the program is expected to earn the city approximately $1.5 million over the course of 18 months, which will be used to cover enforcement of the program and evaluations on its efficiency. The $1 per stop fee is unlikely to have any significant impact on Apple or its employees, but it could help to ease tensions within the city.

    (Image courtesy of The Castro Biscuit)

    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: Apple, Google Shuttles to Pay to Use Public Bus Stops in San Francisco
  2. macrumors 68040

    Jul 18, 2011
    I fail to see how. The money won't trickle down to the average citizen anyways.
  3. macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2013
  4. macrumors 65816

    Sep 14, 2009
    wouldn't having more private commuter buses would be helping the city?

    should companies be that much responsible for where their well paid employees decide to live? Or should the cost of maintaining the city be more of a responsibility of the people that decided to live there?

  5. macrumors 6502a

    szw-mapple fan

    Jul 28, 2012
    Bus tax. I wonder what they'll do with the $1.5 million?
  6. macrumors regular

    May 16, 2007

    It seems like multiple issues were discussed in the article.

    The city is taxing the buses just because they want the money and they can claim the buses are using their bus stops. I don't think its a matter of this costing the city in any real terms. They didnt say it was slowing down the rest of the public transit and Im sure it does actually alleviate some public transit costs.

    The other issue is the current San Fran residents are pissed because the buses make it easier for to the wealthier tech guys to live downtown and commute longer distances to work. The residents would rather not have the private buses so the commute was harder and the tech guys have more incentive to leave the city and live closer to the office.
  7. macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    Talk about class warfare...

    If the companies did not provide the shuttle service, there would be more cars on the streets making traffic and pollution worse for everyone. Now the companies will be asked to pay for the "privilege" of providing a service that the transportation authorities are failing to do effectively. SF and Berkeley has the most bone headed city administrations in some respects.
  8. macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2013
    You have to ask? Waste it.
  9. macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2004
    Pacific Northwest
    What a crock.

    Public Transit and right-of-ways supported by the public shouldn't be double dipped for free by Corporations.
  10. macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2010
    Those tech people are not ordinary, I'm guessing?
  11. macrumors G4

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Except the companies here aren't making $ off the bus stop; it's just a convenient, logical, and safe place to pick up employees; employees who are SF citizens & pay property taxes (either as homeowners or indirectly as renters) which covers things like maintenance for that right-of-way sidewalk/bus stop (mass transit doesn't make a profit to cover all its expenses).

    Also, in an era where gov't is trying to encourage ride sharing & mass transit why discourage companies from shuttling employees to work en mass vs the company subsiding parking or other commuter costs? That just creates more pollution and wear and tear on the roads.

    Now if it was XYZ shuttle service offering service from SF to wherever for $ I'd agree. That's a for-profit service & that would be piggybacking. But these employee shuttles are not that.

    BTW "corporations" is not a dirty word. It's just a word.
  12. macrumors 603


    Oct 28, 2007
    Exactly why does it cost money to use a bus stop? I don't get it. And isn't it a public bus stop, where people in the public wait for a bus. That doesn't cost money either. You pay to ride the bus, not wait for it. I guess this is what happens when poor people complain, who, ironically, likely don't pay enough taxes to run these buses.


    In pretty sure the denizens who wait for these buses do pay taxes. They're not using it for free. Not to mention the tax base these corporations serve.
  13. macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2006
    Moulton, TX
    Aren't the busses already paying a tax to use the roadways? All their fees should be included in this. I hope some of these companies find a way around this fee.
  14. macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2004
    And they are using a ferry that brings the Googlers to the port of Redwood City (outside my office) so they don't "abuse" the public built streets. It's funny to see them exit the ferry and get on their buses.

    I see it as Google giving the whiners the middle finger.
  15. macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2011
    Wow, not a lot of popular support for the new bus tax on this forum. There are quite a few arguments for this tax:

    (1) Cost Shifiting - The increased traffic of these bus stops due to private use was not foreseen during the design phase, and therefore the planned lifespan must be discounted accordingly. Increased maintenance costs and improvements due to this unforeseen use will now be borne by the private users.

    (2) Ability to pay - Public transportation is a social good, and this puts the burden on those best able to pay.

    (3) Punitive damages - This is a penalty enforced against the well-to-do by the envious.

    All are sound theories
  16. macrumors 6502


    Aug 1, 2009
    Los Angeles
    You realize of course that by allowing their employees to live in SF, 60 miles from their campus, they've just grown their potential talent pool by leaps and bounds. Ergo, they do make money from this service.

    And to think otherwise is mildly insane, because they aren't going to provide such a service "just cuz". There's always something in it for them.
  17. macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    Also known as "From each what he is able".

    Anyways, I see no problem with charging for the buses. Most cities require you to pay to park. In exchange, tax rates can be lower. Similarly, tax rates go down in exchange for charging the busses to use the stops.

    That's the theory, anyways. In reality, taxes never go down, but perhaps they'll maintain a constant level for a bit longer than they would otherwise.

    If everybody rode buses, I don't think rush hours would exist anymore. For every 50 cars you see in rush hour, they could all be replaced with a single bus. You'd end up with 1/50 the volume on the road (a bus isn't much different from a car in looking at how much space they take up, on account of how much space each needs in front of them relative to their sizes.) I ride the bus 120 miles everyday to/from work (and the subway about 5 miles. My commute takes about 75 minutes, each way.)
  18. macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    It means less of a chance for a fare increase or a lower fare increase. For the lower income riders, that's a big deal.
    This is one of the few instances where trickle down actually works. :rolleyes:
  19. macrumors 6502


    Sep 19, 2011
    Why the hell are the tech employees being blamed for rising costs of housing? It's a capitalist system we live in last I checked and it's the realty market that sets the market price not the tech employees. Hell the sellers which included the ordinary citizen are partly to blame for asking more for their property. But as I said we live in a capitalist society and that's how it runs. You can't afford to buy? Rent. Live on the outskirts where it is relatively cheaper and just commute.
  20. macrumors 604

    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    So instead corporations should be discouraged from providing a free shuttle service to their employees that gets air-polluting cars that congest traffic off the roads? Apple and the other companies that are doing this are doing the city a favor by giving employees FREE public transport -- charging companies for this is like charging people for picking up trash by the side of the road...
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2011
    Lucky Country
    Interesting. A lot of Marxist jealousy on this thread - about a free bus service, yet!
  22. macrumors 68020


    Sep 25, 2012
    The City Councilmen could always use that money to buy extravagant gifts for their mistresses. Did we really think they would put it to good use?
  23. macrumors regular


    As you say, all sound theories, but what the article actually states is, "the program is expected to earn the city approximately $1.5 million over the course of 18 months, which will be used to cover enforcement of the program and evaluations on its efficiency," i.e. none of what you've written.
  24. macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2010
    Paying taxes towards something doesn't mean you can appropriate it for your own means. You have to share it, fairly. Some people believe that running your own segregated service off those facilities is not fair sharing.
  25. macrumors G5


    Nov 14, 2011
    Only thing that's a crock is this statement. I thought NeXT employees were smarter than this. :p

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