Farrell urges fresh look at private shuttles

An influx of private bus shuttle services has prompted San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell to request the City’s transportation agency to report and recommend polices regarding the services.

Farrell represents the Marina neighborhood in District 2, which has seen private bus services such as Leap and Chariot picking up residents and dropping them off downtown.

Both companies offer residents in the Marina an alternative to Muni’s often crowded 30X-Marina route, but for a price. Chariot charges $10 for two rides. Leap charges $6 for a single ride and offers wi-fi and snacks for purchase.

Farrell said at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting that these new services are uncharted territory for The City:

“While do I believe they are addressing a clear market need, they have a ton of ridership, with some of the Marina Muni routes like the 30X at or beyond capacity, we do need to approach regulation in a thoughtful manner that allows these services in my opinion to keep operating, but sets very clear guidelines in which they can operate in the City.”

He said is requesting the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency in coordination with the City’s Transportation Authority report on how these new service fit into The City’s transportation, sustainability and climate action goals:

“Before we get into the point of regulation, we need to have more information and data to make inform decisions regarding any potential regulations.”

Farrell also said it would be good for the City to have a policy in place for if and when these services expand to mitigate any neighborhood impacts.

Chariot on Tuesday added a route from the Financial to the Richmond District during the evening commute, which has routes already in the Haight, South of Market and Marina neighborhoods.

The report will be heard at a hearing that Farrell requested last month on private commuter buses.