Shuttle services could see new regulations

As private shuttle companies become an increasingly common sight in San Francisco neighborhoods, raising concerns about congestion, safety and noise, The City is raising the possibility of regulating the services.

The shuttles are commonly used by large corporations to taxi employees from their homes in The City to offices in Silicon Valley and the Peninsula. Some neighborhood groups, particularly the Upper Noe Neighbors, have said the rumbling shuttles disrupt communities by traveling down small, narrow streets and idling loudly outside of residences.

Thursday, the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, a local planning group, will release a monthslong study on private shuttle operations. The agency’s director, Jose Luis Moscovich, wouldn’t discuss specifics about the report, but he did say Monday the report would address concerns of “safety issues, air-quality issues and congestion issues” raised by the proliferation of private shuttle usage in The City.
Moscovich said the report will also offer suggestions on how private shuttles can integrate better with Muni operations to allow for better transit options.

“There needs to be some logical way in which all these systems can relate to public services,” he said. “And that may call for some sort of public regulation, although that is just one piece of the puzzle.”

In June, representatives from several large corporations, including Genentech, Google, Yahoo and Apple, met with Noe Valley residents to discuss possible route changes to the shuttles, which were particularly troublesome on 30th Street, a narrow artery that is already home to several public transit lines.

Since that meeting, the private shuttles have stopped traveling on narrower streets in Noe Valley, although there is still interest in the community about finding ways to better coordinate the services, according to Eileen Birmingham, a member of Noe Valley Neighbors.

“The shuttles in the neighborhood calmed down a little while ago, once the companies moved their routes to more commercial corridors,” Birmingham said.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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