A private shuttle provider for multiple tech companies including Zynga and Cisco may no longer use Muni bus stops and other public curb spaces, following continued violation of city provisions.
Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation, a tech shuttle provider, was denied a permit to use Muni bus stops and other public curb spaces this week following a public battle with the local Teamsters union.
That caused the company to run afoul of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s “Labor Harmony” provision, which was drafted by the agency and the Board of Supervisors last year.
Bauer’s also repeatedly violated terms of the Commuter Shuttle Pilot program, according to a letter from SFMTA to Bauer’s obtained by the San Francisco Examiner. The program was extended by the board in February.
“This is the type of company we don’t want operating on the streets,” said Rome Aloise, principal officer of Teamsters Local 853.
The labor harmony resolution “was designed to deal with people just like Bauer’s, a company which can’t follow the rules,” he said.
Bauer’s operates private shuttle buses to ferry tech workers from San Francisco to the corporate campuses of Electronic Arts, Zynga and Cisco systems. That company along with other private shuttles were given permission to use Muni bus stops and other SFMTA curbs to pick up tech workers as part of the Commuter Shuttle Pilot program.
The Teamsters have unionized tech shuttle providers throughout the Bay Area. But when they tried to unionize Bauer’s workers, the shuttle company formed a “sham” union, according to a complaint the Teamsters filed with the National Labor Relations Board.
According to that complaint, Bauer’s management kept lists of workers who tried to join the union, amid other actions described as “intimidation” tactics.
In its permit denial letter, SFMTA also said it netted 48 complaints about Bauer’s shuttles between August 2015 and January 2016. That’s the lion share of the 142 total complaints the SFMTA received about shuttles for that period.
“Bauer’s continued violations of these requirements has contributed to unacceptable traffic congestion,” and also “impeded safe and efficient Muni operations by blocking access to Muni stops,” the SFMTA wrote to Bauer’s.
The SFMTA said the company will be given a three week grace period, so “immediate disruptions” for passengers aren’t an issue.
Supervisor Scott Wiener crafted the labor harmony agreement, which is being put to the test for the first time with Bauer’s.
Wiener told the Examiner on Thursday, “the MTA has always engaged in a thoughtful process around the shuttle program, and the agency appears to have done so here.”