Can crowd-sourcing bus routes solve Bay Area commuters’ woes?

SAN FRANCISCO — Long maligned as the least desirable form of public transit, buses are making a comeback.

These aren’t the lumbering behemoths most often associated with frequent stops, long rides and dingy carriages. Enter Chariot, Lyft Shuttle, MagicBus and the latest addition to the East Bay, OurBus. With crowd-sourced routes and app-based hailing, cushy interiors and shorter rides, these privately-owned services are positioning themselves as serious competitors to public transit.

That has transportation experts hopeful the new services will get cars off the road, reduce traffic and provide options for commuters where there are limited or no bus routes. But those same experts also question whether the upstarts will threaten the viability of public transit by siphoning passengers and making it more difficult for public operators to serve the lowest-income and wheelchair-bound riders who depend on them…(more)

How is a jitney style bus different from a rideshare? Companies have been using similar size vehicles as rideshares to transport employees for a while. These pre-dated tech buses and empolyees have been encouraged to share rides for a long time before the “sharing economy” was established. This is much like hitchhiking, which is what we had prior to Uber and Lyft. Maybe we should consider going backward and actually sharing rides the old-fashioned way. Put the corporations out of business by offering free services. How much more dangerous is hitchhiking than taking Uber or Lyft? presumably the drivers know there way around, which is more than can b said for the Uber and Lyft drivers. As for why private car owners are working “for” Uber and Lyft – probably many are working to pay the exorbitant rents that must pay since the advent of the PAID, formerly free, sharing services. Some may be working to pay to park their vehicles. This is the face of gentrification brought to us by City Hall and SFMTA. They cleared the streets to make room for “their” corporate buddies. There is a name for this kind of government.

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