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New Poll: A Vast Majority of San Franciscans Have No Problem With the Google Bus

Sean Pyles | March 26, 2014 | Lifestyle Story City Life

To some, the Google Bus is a symbol of all that's wrong with San Francisco—entitlement, displacement, inequality. But to others—many more others, it turns out—it's really no big deal. A striking new survey released today by the Bay Area Council, a pro-business advocacy group, shows that the wide majority of San Francisco voters do not share the sentiments of the anti-busniks. In fact, an overwhelming majority of those polled said that they supported Mayor Ed Lee's approach to welcoming the growing high technology industry.

The survey, which polled 500 likely voters in San Francisco from March 10th to 16th, found that "San Francisco voters are overwhelmingly positive about the tech industry and the impact tech has had on the city." In fact, 67% support allowing shuttle buses to use a limited number MUNI bus stops, with 70% in favor of regulating them. That's essentially the position that Mayor Lee has taken.

Other results of the survey:

70% support charging a $1 per bus per stop fee
66% oppose banning shuttles from MUNI bus stops
73% view tech workers favorably
63% disagree that these shuttles are a symbol of San Francisco's problems
74% say the commuter shuttles help supplement existing public transit
79% of respondents think that the recent growth in tech has been good for San Francisco
84% of voters say that shuttle buses help take cars off the road
62% say that shuttles should be offered by more companies

Survey respondents are ambivalent about the impact of the growing economy, especially on housing issues, but not hostile to tech firms or their workers. Only 29% of those polled said that the buses were ruining the character of the city—and 31% said that they were a symbol of San Francisco's problems.

The big takeaway from the survey, which reports numbers that are mostly in line with what other polls have found, is this: The anti-tech backlash has produced a lot of national news stories, but it hasn't changed the hearts and minds of most San Francisco voters.

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