By Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt
Protesters block two buses, transporting workers to Facebook and Yahoo in Silicon Valley, at the corner of Valencia and 24th streets on Tuesday.
The future of the “Google bus” program may no longer include the use of Muni stops — instead pointing the commuter shuttles toward hubs in the downtown area and elsewhere, according to legislation introduced Tuesday at the Board of Supervisors.
After two weeks of negotiations, seven supervisors supported a resolution calling on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors to approve the commuter shuttle program for one year, with key provisions resulting from a tentative deal reached during talks this week between stakeholders.
The provisions would set the stage for modifying the program, possibly within six months.
Among the provisions is the analysis of disallowing commuter shuttles to use Muni bus stops citywide. Instead, the shuttles would use hubs, such as parking lots in the South of Market Area, and commuters could take public transit to those hubs. Another provision would require a review of the program within six months.
The transit agency is expected to take up the issue on Feb. 16, according to SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose. “We look forward to working with both boards, the community and other stakeholders to finalize an effective and responsible commuter shuttle plan,” Rose said.
If the brokered deal is ultimately agreed upon, the environmental appeal filed by SEIU 1021, a labor union with 6,000 members, would be dismissed by the Board of Supervisors on Feb. 23. The appeal has forced the negotiation.
A formal commitment from those involved in the negotiations — including technology companies Apple, Google, Facebook and Genentech, as well as the Bay Area Council — remains outstanding on some aspects and talks are expected to continue.
Those supporting the resolution included board President London Breed, along with supervisors David Campos, Jane Kim, Norman Yee, Aaron Peskin, John Avalos and Eric Mar… (more)