Does this mean we can all finally stop talking about the Google Bus?
The city's pilot program to regulate tech company's commuter buses went into effect this morning—and it was met with protest. At least one group of activists blocked buses at 24th and Valencia this morning, protesting the evictions of disabled or senior residents that they claim is caused by the booming economy.
The city's program will allow buses to use Muni stops along sidewalks at 99 spots in the city at a cost of $3.55 per use. That's up from the original proposal of $1 per stop, which was based on a larger amount of uses. (The fee is schedule to increase to $3.67 in the future.) State law prevents the city from charging more than the cost of operating the program.
Muni's Carli Paine was quoted in the Examiner sounding a note of cautious optimism. "We know that there are likely to be some growing pains at first. Day one is not going to be as great as day 30," she said. "And so we know it's going to take a little time to get everything working super smoothly."
As Valleywag is reporting, at least one shuttle has moved its stop from a Muni zone to an unreserved stretch of the sidewalk as a result of the city's regulations going into effect.
As part of the city's regulations, commuter shuttles, which include those that ferry workers at Google, Facebook, and Apple, will be required to identify themselves with signs posted on the front and back.
A lawsuit filed by a coalition that includes SEIU 1021 and activists that would block implementation of the plan remains to be heard.
So, probably expect to keep hearing about the Google Bus for a while still, is what we're saying.