Google buses

Protester barfs on windshield of Yahoo bus — Viva La Vomit!

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Yesterday at City Hall there was a seven hour long hearing on the validity of the tech buses, known colloquially as Google buses. Do they cause displacement? Are they too heavy (and break the pavement)? Are they merely a symbol of gentrification, or do they cause gentrification? Read more »

SF supervisors reject challenge of Google bus pilot program

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An appeal of the Google bus pilot program's exemption from environmental review was denied at a contentious Board of Supervisors hearing Tuesday night that went on for six and a half hours straight. The vote was 8-2 to move forward with the 18-month pilot program without environmental review, with only Supervisors David Campos and John Avalos voting nay.Read more »

Opposing sides rally troops for tech bus throw-down

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Tomorrow’s (Tue/1) San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting will feature a hearing on the environmental impact of commuter shuttles, including Google buses. In what promises to be a telling moment in a polarizing controversy that started in late 2013, supervisors will be forced to pick a side.Read more »

Poll says SF loves tech buses, doesn't ask Spanish speakers

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San Franciscans love tech, they're totally cool with the Google buses, and care more about job creation than the cost of living, according to a newly released poll of San Franciscans by the Bay Area Council.Read more »

SFMTA Board approves tech shuttle plan

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The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of directors approved a pilot program today that allows operators of private commuter shuttles to use public bus stops, something they’ve been doing illegally for years on a very predictable basis.Read more »

VIDEO: Tech buses blocked hours before vote on bus stop fees

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Two tech buses were surrounded and blockaded by over 100 protesters earlier today, just hours before the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors is set to vote on fees for private shuttle use of public bus stops. Read more »

Talking points for Google busers

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TechCrunch is reporting that a Google employee leaked an internal memo the Silicon Valley tech firm circulated to its employees, urging them to provide public comment on the controversial proposal to sanction its private shuttles' use of city bus stops.

Here are the talking points Googlers were supposedly told to highlight in comments to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency at tomorrow's (Tue/21) meeting, when the transit board will vote on the proposal.Read more »

Mayor Lee addresses Google bus controversy

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At a press conference on affordable housing today, the Guardian asked Mayor Ed Lee about San Francisco’s favorite pinata: tech buses. The monstrous private shuttles, which daily whisk tech workers away to Silicon Valley, currently use Muni bus stops without paying fines, like most private autos do. 

In Guardian News Editor Rebecca Bowe’s article in the print edition of the Bay Guardian this week, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spokesperson Paul Rose tells her that although there is a proposal in the works to regulate them, the SFMTA won’t profit a single dime from the plan. 

“We are developing these policies to better utilize the boarding zones for these shuttle providers," Rose said. "What we're trying to do is provide a more efficient transportation network."

Read more »

Bus riding tech workers respond to national spotlight on evictions

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Evictions are rippling through San Francisco. Tensions are high. Tech workers with gobs of cash are driving up the rental market in what may be the newest tech bubble -- or the city’s new reality. Protesters took to the street earlier this week, blocking a Google bus to draw attention to gentrification, and our video of a union organizer posing as a Google employee shouting down those protesters lit up the InternetRead more »

"Why'd you do it?" we ask Fake Google employee Max Bell Alper

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Within a half hour of our original post on today's tech gentrification and transit protest, the Guardian learned that Max Bell Alper, a union organizer with Unite Here Local 2850 was the man shouting down Google bus protesters earlier this morning. We asked Alper what motivated him to impersonate a Google employee.

You can read the original post, with updates, here.

Alper maintained that he meant no deception, and that it was all "political theater."Read more »