Bayshore resident Dorothy Owens said she used to take the bus any time she needed to go shopping, but since several neighborhood bus routes were canceled in the past decade, she has had to rely on her husband to drive her around.
The 68-year-old’s life may soon change, however. City leaders are pushing through a shuttle that would connect the isolated, largely low-income Bayshore area to the rest of Daly City. Full of seniors and immigrant families, the neighborhood has long suffered from the lack of supermarkets, restaurants and entertainment venues as well as transit connections to those nearby.
“We do have a good neighborhood, but as far as transportation and food, we’re kind of stuck out here with nothing,” Owens said. “It would be good if they started the shuttle up again, especially with the gas prices the way they are.”
After complaints from residents, SamTrans launched a study last year to find solutions for improving Bayshore’s transportation. The recently concluded study recommends a fixed-route shuttle that would go through the neighborhood and bring residents to Daly City BART, Westlake Shopping Center and Top of the Hill.
“The fixed-route shuttle will allow them to know when it comes and will connect them to important transit systems such as Muni, BART and SamTrans,” said Corinne Goodrich, SamTrans manager of strategic development.
The shuttle would operate 10 hours on weekdays and six hours on weekends, a luxury many Bayshore residents have not experienced for years. In the 1990s, one bus route was canceled, followed by another that was axed in 2004 for lack of ridership. The bus was replaced by an on-call shuttle that works during limited hours and operates only on weekdays.
Resident Iris Gallagher is convinced the new shuttle, seating approximately 18 people, would not face the problem of scarce use.
“When we had the bus before, I never used it because I was a young mother and drove my children everywhere, but things have changed, especially in view of gas prices,” she said. “I know I would use it.”
The new shuttle, which would most likely operate for free, may begin service in the next two years if transportation agencies and Daly City can come up with $192,960 per year to operate it.