Issues surrounding private shuttle buses surface in Marina
Lines for shuttle buses 30 people deep are causing problems in San Francisco's Marina neighborhood says District Supervisor Mark Farrell. As private commuter shuttles like Leap and Chariot grow in popularity, so have the number of complaints to city leaders.
"It's not a long term solution to say 'I'm just going to double-park in front of this apartment building for five minutes in the morning.' That just doesn't work," said Mark Farrell as he explained the problem residents are reporting to him.
Essentially, the tech-savvy population has ditched the stage coach -- also known as Muni's 30X line -- for private commuter shuttles.
"It's convenient, it's affordable. The bus systems in this area are extremely overcrowded," said Marina resident Annie Larson.
Larson now commutes to the Financial District with Chariot.
"The reality is the sooner I can get to work, I can get my day started. And this gets me to work at least twice as fast as the bus system," said Larson.
But Larson's convenient commute option and others like Leap are frustrating some of Farrell's constituents.
"When he walked out of his house to take his children to school, out of his driveway had approximately 30 people basically on his front door step with a big sandwich board in front of his house," said Farrell.
At Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting, Farrell plans to request a hearing on the issue of regulating ride-share buses, which don't fall under the same rules as Muni's tech-bus pilot program.
"We should definitely have a conversation about what makes sense for all of the stakeholders," said Ali Vahabzadeh, founder and CEO of Chariot, adding that there's clearly a need for the service his company offers, "We've already expanded to four routes and we're growing every single week."
What's clear is that the City's young work force doesn't plan to saddle-up a horse anytime soon, so fast and efficient modes of transportation will be here to stay.
"In many ways, they're taking solo cars off the street, so it's not something that we want to discourage. We just need to think, what's the balanced approach?" said Farrell.
The Supervisor says while this issue is currently affecting his district, it's only a matter of time before it expands to others. He says traffic studies and other data will have to be collected to determine the best solutions.