City makes last call for tech shuttle ‘transit hubs’

San Francisco will close its first survey on the controversial “hub model” for private commuter shuttles today. The shuttles, locally nicknamed “Google Buses,” are perhaps best known for ferrying technology workers to Silicon Valley.

The survey was an effort by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to answer one key question:

If created, where in The City would the shuttle hubs go?

The results were more than 900 answers suggesting neighborhoods across San Francisco to host these new “shuttle hubs,” as of July 1.

The San Francisco Examiner requested early results to showcase where residents opinions before the survey closed.

The commuter shuttle hubs are being explored as a compromise around The City’s controversial tech shuttles. The San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted to approve changes to the Commuter Shuttle Program in February, which resulted in the dismissal of an environmental appeal which threatened the program.

The shuttles are used by 8,500 people daily, according to the SFMTA.

Some progressive supervisors and neighbors suggested a “hub” model for the commuter shuttles, akin to bus stations, which would operate in key spots around The City. Right now, the shuttles stop at 125 designated locations on various San Francisco routes per day, according to the SFMTA.

Many of these are also Muni stops, and detractors have complained the shuttles block access to Muni for seniors and the disabled.

The survey is a an effort by both the SFMTA and San Francisco County Transportation Authority. SFMTA wrote the submitted locations “will be evaluated against criteria that is under development, to identify feasible stop locations.”

That criteria will be made public in mid-July, according to SFMTA, and the hub study is expected to be finalized in October for presentation to the Board of Supervisors.

Many of those who answered the survey, more than 50, wrote in the Mission District as a potential site for a commuter shuttle hub – particularly around the 24th Street BART station.

More than 40 called for a stop along Van Ness Avenue, and about 40 people recommended Glen Park as a potential site for a shuttle hub. Other top identified areas include Noe Valley, the Castro, the Marina, and the 4th and King Streets Caltrain station.

About 18 people called for various Safeway parking lots across San Francisco to become shuttle hubs for Silicon Valley sojourners.

One person who suggested the Transbay Terminal as a shuttle hub wrote, “The shuttles drive displacement: they do not reduce traffic, but merely cause lower income people to move out of the city and commute in.”

Many supporting hubs said the commuter shuttles are too large to be in neighborhoods. Notably, the shuttles traveling to Silicon Valley are often double decker.

About 24 respondents said “none” as a recommended location, and one person wrote in “NONONONO” as a location.

Many who opposed the hubs wrote if they had to travel to a commuter shuttle hub, they would opt to drive instead. One respondent said they would drive because, “I have a 7 month old baby and getting home early is a priority so I can see him before he goes to sleep.”

Today is the final day of the SFMTA Commuter Shuttle Hub Model Study survey. To suggest a location for a shuttle stop, visit the survey web page at sfex.news/ShuttleSurvey415.


Where should they go?


San Franciscans suggested many neighborhoods to host commuter shuttle hubs in an online survey by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. The Examiner compiled the most numerous suggested neighborhoods here. Some people suggested “none” and opposed the notion of shuttle hubs, which is included in the tally. Note: The survey completes July 4, this list was compiled July 1. The results are preliminary.

Top suggested neighborhoods and corridors for Commuter Shuttle “Hubs”:

Mission District: 53

(Includes 24th street BART, and other Mission locations)

Van Ness: 41

Glen Park: 40

Noe Valley: 32

The Castro: 31

4th and King Caltrain station: 22

The Marina: 20

None: 24

Responses via SFMTA, compiled by the San Francisco Examiner.

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