Gmuni: Free Buses for All! April Fools Day, 2014 and Update

heart-of-the-city – excerpt – (video)

San Francisco, CA, April 2014 Action

This April Fools Day, Artists, activists and community members came together to stage Gmuni: a free buses for all launch party. They’re celebrating an imaginary Google service allowing the public to ride the private shuttles, “Google Buses,” for free since MUNI is in crisis, and a fare hike is imminent.

The event kicked off just hours before SF supervisors were to decide if wealthy corporations like Google can continue using public infrastructure for virtually no cost, while the public pays more than ever.

Background:

Since 2007 private shuttles, a.k.a. “Google buses”, have been using our tax payer-funded public bus stops illegally thousands of times a day. SFMTA has made backroom hand-shake deals with these wealthy corporations to turn a blind eye, while ticketing the public $271 if they stop in a MUNI zone. This is just one example of the two-tier system that exists in SF, the city with the fastest growing inequality gap in the country. The second tech boom has also brought us: no fault evictions up 83%, rents up 20% where “Google buses” stop, and the displacement of elders, long-time residents, and families in favor of whiter, richer newcomers.

http://www.heart-of-the-city.org/

***

RELATED UPDATE:

Please attend the appeal of the permanent commuter shuttle program; 1-26-2016; 2 p.m.; SF City Hall, for the following reasons. If you cannot attend, please send an email to the Board of Supervisors. Emails contacts:

To be sure that your correspondence becomes a part of the public record send a copy of everything to: board.of.supervisors@sfgov.org

Edwin Lee, Mayor – MayorEdwinLee@sfgov.org
1 – Eric Mar, District Supervisor – Eric.L.Mar@sfgov.org
2 – Mark Farrell, District Supervisor – Mark.Farrell@sfgov.org
3 – Aaron Peskin, District Supervisor – Aaron.Peskin@sfgov.org
4 – Katy Tang, District Supervisor – Katy.Tang@sfgov.org
5 – London Breed, District Supervisor – London.Breed@sfgov.org
6 – Jane Kim, District Supervisor – Jane.Kim@sfgov.org
7 – Norman Yee, District Supervisor – Norman.Yee@sfgov.org
8 – Scott Wiener, District Supervisor – Scott.Wiener@sfgov.org
9 – David Campos , District Supervisor – David.Campos@sfgov.org
10 – Malia Cohen, District Supervisor – Malia.Cohen@sfgov.org
11 – John Avalos, District Supervisor – John.Avalos@sfgov.org

We want a comprehensive EIR on the displacement impacts of the commuter shuttles in San Fransisco. Why should there be an EIR?

  • There are NO LIMITS on the number of shuttles that the SFMTA can permit;g
  • There are NO LIMITS on the number of stops the private shuttles might be able to operate in;
  • The demand for private access to public bus stops is likely to increase — Apple’s new Cupertino campus will employ 13,000 people and another North San Jose campus, for which Apple paid $165 million in cash, will employ 18,000. Other Silicon Valley companies are also expanding. What are the housing plans for the new employees?
  • Evidence indicates that the availability of private shuttles nearby drives up housing costs and contributes to evictions and displacements and the suburbanization of low- to middle-income people (so do they really get cars off the road?);
  • The shuttles obstruct access for senior citizens and people with disabilities (see photo);
  • According to the permanent program, shuttles of fewer than 35 feet might be able to operate on residential streets;
  • Shuttles now pay a small at-best revenue-neutral cost-recovery fee of $3.67 per stop per day, while the companies (Google, Apple, Facebook, Genentech, LinkedIn, Yahoo, and others) that provide these free employee shuttles get TAX WRITE OFFs. You pay $2.25 when you board Muni, and all other private vehicles that stop in public bus zones are fined $271;
  • The majority of the shuttles are diesel buses; and,
  • All parts of the program that involve stopping in public bus stops are AGAINST STATE LAW.

Please attend the appeal of the permanent commuter shuttle bus program on January 26, 2016. The appeal will start at 3 p.m., but please arrive early. We expect many people to be there.

Sue Vaughan

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