Urban Fold

San Francisco Gains Affluence and Loses Its Identity

The latest 'digital gold rush' has been a boost for the Bay Area's high earners, but a blow to its diversity and affordability. Conspicuous transportation modes - fleets of private buses and black town cars - epitomize the area's growing divide.

"The private [Silicon Valley shuttle] system has become the most visible symbol of the digital gold rush sweeping [San Francisco], and of the sharpening division between those who are riding the high-tech industry's good fortunes and those who are not," writes Jessica Guynn. "Fueling the growing rift is a common belief that the vast wealth being amassed by the tech industry is not spilling over into the community."

"Instead, activists say, the high-tech invasion is driving up the cost of living to levels that more San Franciscans cannot afford," she adds. "In a region that lays claim to some of the world's wealthiest companies, food stamp participation has hit a 10-year high, and homelessness has increased 20% in the last two years, [a report from Joint Venture Silicon Valley] found."

"That has led to some pointed criticism — some of it coming from within technology's own ranks."

Full Story: San Francisco split by Silicon Valley's wealth

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