San Francisco's pilot program for commuter shuttles launched today. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) created the program mainly to regulate buses that carry tech workers south to their company's campuses in places such as Mountain View and Menlo Park. Many tech companies provide buses for their employees, and the shuttles are commonly called "Google Buses."
Commuter shuttles have been using existing Municipal Railway stops to pick up or drop off passengers for years, which has contributed to some of Muni's delays.
The start of the pilot program caused some confusion among tech shuttle passengers today as buses started using new or different Muni stops. The shuttles are now limited to about 100 Muni stops, and the shuttle operators have to pay$3.55 per bus per stop to cover the cost of the program.
Kristen Holland, a spokeswoman for the SFMTA, said: "We wanted to make sure that these shuttles could still operate since they are still taking individual car trips off the road, which is a goal of ours, helps Muni, helps all of our transportation system work better. But it needed to work better with Muni."
The shuttles also have to display green placards with an identification number on the front and back bumpers, so SFMTA officials can issue citations and track complaints.