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Better to Appease Irate Neighbors Than Decrease Car Commuting

A San Francisco Chronicle editorial supports the decision by the Municipal Transportation Agency to 'bow' to complaints from residents about the large tech buses by reducing their stops in their neighborhoods even if it means increasing car trips.
July 14, 2016, 11am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"Bowing to complaints from residents in congested neighborhoods like the Mission, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has been regulating the stops for the large buses that ferry technology workers to campuses on the Peninsula," editorializes the paper. 

Moving shuttle stops from smaller streets onto larger ones will reduce neighborhood congestion and improve quality of life.

Moving the stops by only a few blocks asks tech workers to make only the tiniest of sacrifices.

post on Monday indicates that "fewer Facebook employees are taking the shuttle and choosing to drive instead—according to a recent Facebook report to the city of Menlo Park."

According to that report, "on May 9, trips entering Facebook’s complex at One Hacker Way increased by about 16 percent to 12,400 compared with May 8 of last year. 

"It’s unfortunate that more workers are choosing to drive to work," continues the editorial. "But the fault here is with those workers. It’s not with the city transportation agency."

In other words, blame commuters for resorting to their cars rather than walking up to half a mile to new bus stops after the transportation agency took away their old stops. 

The bias against the city's technology workforce that commutes to the Peninsula and South Bay is acknowledged in the editorial's conclusion. About one-third of Facebook’s employees live in San Francisco, according to Wendy Lee's earlier article in The Chronicle.

If there was a bias in this case, it was that the agency chose to weigh more heavily complaints from the San Francisco neighborhoods than the convenience of technology companies who aren’t based within the city’s limits. San Francisco residents are the ones who pay the SFMTA’s bills, so that’s right and fair.

It would seem that the paper overlooks the fact that commuters to Facebook and other tech companies are San Francisco residents as well.

More on how the technology shuttles have reshaped Silicon Valley's workforce here.

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 in San Francisco Chronicle
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