SamTrans is looking to throw the residents of Daly City's Bayshore neighborhood a lifeline with a free shuttle service to connect residents with shopping, transportation and health care destinations in other parts of the city and San Francisco.
The predominantly low-income neighborhood, geographically isolated from the rest of the city, has long been bereft of services for residents, including a full-service supermarket.
Daly City Vice Mayor David Canepa, one of the shuttle's biggest cheerleaders, said while most transportation projects in the county have focused on moving people north and south, the new shuttle addresses the needs of Bayshore residents who have to travel east or west before those north-south corridors can connect them to doctor's appointments, shopping and other services.
SamTrans spokeswoman Christine Dunn said the shuttle should be up and running by the end of the year, operating Monday through Friday for 10 hours per day, making five round trips each day. She said the exact route is still being decided.
According to documents, one proposed route includes the Safeway at 4950 Mission St., the Balboa Park and Daly City BART stations, the North Peninsula Food Pantry, the Daly City Clinic, Seton Hospital and Serramonte Shopping Center.
Canepa said Bayshore residents have told him they feel isolated since San Bruno Mountain separates them from the rest of Daly City and San Mateo County. Geographic isolation isn't the only challenge facing Bayshore's roughly 4,000 residents. According to a 2008 SamTrans study, 28 percent of the Bayshore area's households are “linguistically isolated,” and the percentage of households living below the poverty line is relatively high when compared to the rest of Daly City.
The study also found that using public transportation to get from the Bayshore to shopping centers, grocery stores and medical appointments is time-consuming and difficult.
As Tim Lee waited for a bus on Geneva Avenue, he said he'd like to see the San Bruno BART station included in the shuttle's route.
“It should be more frequent,” Lee said of the proposed two-hour schedule between buses. “That's like having buses come when ain't nobody here.”
Bus commuter Ben Corey, on the other hand, welcomed the news.
“I would say this part of town needs a lot more transportation options,” Corey said.
Funding for the shuttle will come from a variety of sources, including the county's Measure A transportation tax and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission's Lifeline Transportation Program, which is designed to address mobility and accessibility needs in low-income communities.