By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt
Where the “Google buses” go, evictions follow.
And those private shuttles are expanding all across The City, with more than 20 new stop locations and over 900 more annual pickups made by shuttles so far in 2015, compared to last year, according to new data.
Those are the assertions of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project and some advocates suing San Francisco and various tech companies. The goal of the suit is to compel an environmental review of the Commuter Shuttle Pilot Program, which legalized private commuter shuttle activity.
The data on the growing number of private commuter shuttles, nicknamed “Google buses” comes via public records requests of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency by activist Sue Vaughan.
Vaughan is one of the litigants in the lawsuit, along with local activist Sara Shortt and the local SEIU.
Mapping project activist Erin McElroy famously protested a Google Bus in 2013, along with groups like Heart of the City, demanding Google and other tech companies help stem evictions.
“We found that evictions were up 69 percent more in proximity to [shuttle] stops between 2011 and 2013,” McElroy said, adding the newer commuter shuttle stops would likely bring higher rents and evictions.
The mapping project also released an interactive map last week, showing new commuter shuttle stops in the west and south ends of San Francisco:
When the San Francisco Examiner asked SFMTA if they had studied the correlation between evictions and shuttle stops, they said questions should be referred to the Planning Department.
Gina Simi, a spokeswoman for the Planning Department, said “This isn’t something that would fall under Planning’s jurisdiction or analysis.”
As previously reported by the Examiner, public documents show the SFMTA is working hand-in-hand with the Planning Department to exempt The City from conducting environmental impact reports, which may include measuring community displacement effects…. (more)
The SFMTA is using our tax dollars to hire lobbyists in Sacramento, and possibly Washington to change the laws in favor of the tech buses. This is especially concerning because no other city has this problem that we know of.
Please let us know if there are other cities, particularly in California that have tech buses.
A gentrification report came out, or was discovered on twitter this week that shows a strong correlation between the transit-oriented development and gentrification that further proves the point many have been making for some time.
The goal is to build, not build a green or clean city. Just build, and any story, no matter how true, will do to get that next project approved and shift the demographic in San Francisco to one that can be easily controlled.
The question that arises out of this realization is: Should the regional transportation agency be elected?
Tech bus drivers forced to live in cars to make ends meet
Scott Peebles drives employees to their jobs at Apple, the wealthiest tech company in the world, yet he can’t afford a place to live. (so he lives in his van.)