Silicon Valley Shuttles Will Now Pay to Use San Francisco's Bus Stops

Google shuttles will pay one dollar for every stop they make in San Francisco, which probably isn't enough for their protestors.

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At attempt to ease the ongoing tensions between Silicon Valley employees who use private company shuttles and their neighbors who hate everything they represent was passed today by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. The vote was unanimously in favor.

Starting in July, companies like Google, Facebook and Apple will pay the city one dollar every time one of their shuttles stops at a bus stop. According to the AP, the city will make $80,000 a year from "medium-sized companies" and over $100,000 from larger ones, for an estimated total of $1.5 million over the next 18 months. That seems like a lot, but San Francisco won't profit off of this. All the money must go back into the program. So while that dollar a stop is giving something back to the city, it'll only go to the people who use those private shuttles.

Proponents of the program said (with some help on talking points from Google) that the shuttles keep cars off the road that commuters would otherwise use. Opponents say the dollar per stop charge is still too low and the buses represent the rapid Silicon Valley-sponsored gentrification that is pricing longtime residents out of their homes. It's doubtful the new program will satisfy them.

Hours before the vote, protestors blocked Google and Facebook shuttles for 30 minutes. Google recently introduced a new ferry service, which might be more difficult for protestors to blockade.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.