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protest
environment
development
public transit
California
San Francisco
SF0114


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SF "tech bus" (1106)

SF "tech bus" (1106)
An SF "tech bus", popularly referred to as a "Google bus", following an SF Muni electric bus. The large, and largely unmarked, buses have become quite common in the residential portions of the city. The buses are chartered by companies such as Google, Apple, Twitter, and Facebook. They glide almost silently into neighborhoods, picking up tech workers to chauffeur them away to the company sites on the peninsula. They have become a symbol of the tensions that arise as the influx of high-tech workers are forcing up rents in SF neighborhoods, while those same workers are not dealing with the exigencies of public transit, parking, and all of the other facts of life traditionally encountered by neighborhood residents. As symbols of a form of elitism, the buses have become a site of protest (see weblink): www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Google-bus-backlash-S-F-to-impose-fees-on-tech-5163759.php

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Comments
Don Barrett (aka DBs travels)
Don Barrett (aka DBs…
It was announced today (2/4) that Google is experimenting with using ferries from San Francisco and Oakland to the Google offices in the South Bay. This would be much better since that means that Google workers who live in those two cities have to get to the ferry terminals just like everyone else does, thus they're not living a chauffeured life.
4 years ago.
Nylonbleu
Nylonbleu
it is just incredible to see all those thread crossing above the street...
4 years ago.
Don Barrett (aka DBs… has replied to Nylonbleu
After living in San Francisco for years I got to where they were a positive sign, indicating that the neighborhood had cleaner electric buses.
4 years ago.
Clint
Clint
I've only vaguely paid attention to this controversy, so I'm probably missing something (and this isn't my community, anyway), but the nature of it puzzles me, as does the vehemence of the argument. I somewhat understand to an extent wanting everybody to participate in public transit, but this just seems like a form of carpooling. Like public transit, it gets cars off the roads and lessens congestion on the highways. Chicago companies run a number of similar shuttle buses. Would those who protest prefer that everybody drive? Would they prefer that tech professionals just move out to the suburbs and contribute to sprawl, creating a less centralized infrastructure more difficult and expensive to maintain?
4 years ago.
Don Barrett (aka DBs… has replied to Clint
The issues isn't really the buses, but the way the buses symbolize the destruction of what it means to be a San Franciscan. They glide, quietly, like a chauffeur service, through the neighborhoods picking up the very high-paid workers who often are not participants in SF culture. The rents those high-paid workers are supporting are driving out the residents who have been there for awhile, their sense of entitlement on the street is often obnoxious (I know that from encountering similar young techies in LA), and their commitment to the sorts of values expected in SF is superficial. I.e., the buses symbolize the destruction of the meaning of the city. (The same sort of thing is happening in Chicago, right?)
4 years ago.