Tech companies will now start paying San Francisco for having their shuttle buses stop in designated areas in the city.The city has announced that it has unanimously approved a pilot program that requires operators of the buses to pay a fee for using certain transit stops around the city after locals organized protests on several occasions.
The program is supposed to last for 18 months during which the shuttle busses will pick up and drop off passengers at 200 stops that were previously limited to city official public transit stations. Bus operators will have to pay a $1 fee per day for each stop, which puts the entire project at about $1.5 million.
The pilot will launch in July and wrap up in December 2015. Shuttles will display a placard and will provide data to the city via onboard GPS.
The issue that residents in San Francisco had with the shuttles was that they had become a symbol for the divide between the tech industry and the regular people of the city. Mainly, the problem is that the tech industry is particularly wealthy and its presence near San Francisco has pushed rents up, which displeases residents.
Two weeks ago, it was revealed that Google had found an alternative to the shuttle busses and started ferrying workers from San Francisco to Redwood City. The catamaran that the company rented can hold up to 149 passengers and it takes two trips every morning and another couple in the evening.
The boat pays the port of San Francisco for each docking, just like any other user, although no numbers were specified.
Google did say that it was trying to keep everyone happy in San Francisco and to continue helping its employees get to work. A spokesperson said that they were looking into this type of alternatives so that they wouldn’t cause any inconvenience to San Francisco residents.