Above: A Google bus taking about 30 seconds to turn left, through a red light, from Valencia onto 24th Street, at rush hour.
It’s taken me a long time to crystallize my thoughts on the tech buses, but watching this spectacle this morning really brought it together for me.
First of all, let me say that focusing gentrification outrage on people taking a bus is misguided at best. I won’t go down that rathole of an argument, as there are plenty of thoughtful pieces of writing and debate out there about it already, by people who are smarter than I am.
But this bus SHOULD NOT BE ON THIS STREET. These double-decker behemoths are too huge and too slow for streets like Valencia and 24th. They can’t even turn left without blithely running red lights long after they’ve turned yellow. They slow down city busses. They’re so wide that even bikes can’t go around them safely. Charging $1 per stop does nothing to address this problem.
The Genentech bus that detours off the freeway to pick up passengers in the large Glen Park BART loading zone: FINE. The Apple shuttle that picks up workers at Daly City BART after they’ve taken transit out of the City: FINE. This bus turning left from one very narrow street onto another: NOT FINE.
I encourage the Supervisors to focus on channeling these busses onto approved corridors: Say, all the way down Van Ness to Potrero, then onto the freeway. Heavily fine those that stray. People can take public transit to get to central pickup points, helping to fund our transit infrastructure.
We can’t stop growth (nor should we), but we DO need to channel its impacts in an intelligent way, and I think a change like this would help.
Well said! It’s nice to read a piece that isn’t blindly raging against every aspect of these buses (though there are a few reasons to). Like the posts says, it would be misguided to rail on people for taking buses to work, but it’s hard not to feel like we’re being pushed off our own streets when these double-decker bullies drive by.