By Joe Fitzgerald Rodrigue : sfexaminer – excerpt
An environmental suit against San Francisco’s commuter shuttle pilot program, known commonly as “Google buses,” was thrown out Thursday in San Francisco Superior Court.
Superior Court Judge Garrett Wong ruled the suit “moot” after a half-hour hearing Thursday afternoon, dismissing the case because the original pilot program – which the suit was filed against – has ended.
The new program was “different enough” to render the original suit moot, defendant’s attorneys argued.
With his ruling, Wong sided with San Francisco and a range of defendants representing tech companies that run private shuttles from The City to Silicon Valley, including Apple, Google, and Genentech.
“There’s no reason to have [the suit] anymore because of the [new] commuter shuttle program,” said Audrey Pearson, a deputy city attorney.
The suit was filed by plaintiffs Coalition for Fair Legal and Environmental Transit — including the local SEIU 1021, housing advocate Sara Shortt and union organizer Alysabeth Alexander — in 2014, arguing the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency failed to study environmental impacts of the shuttles under the California Environmental Quality Act, including emissions from the shuttles.
They also argued the shuttles raise prices of nearby apartments – leading to displacement of residents… (more)