Delay places commuter shuttle program in limbo

San Francisco supervisors Tuesday postponed a vote on a permanent commuter shuttle program, arguing that they needed more time to negotiate with opponents.

The board voted 9-2 to continue for two weeks a vote on an appeal of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board’s Nov. 17 approval of a permanent shuttle regulation program.

Opponents to the city’s current shuttle regulations have argued that a full environmental review and economic analysis should be conducted to look at the program’s impact on housing costs and displacement. They also argue the city should set the fee much higher.

Supervisors Scott Wiener and Katy Tang voted against the continuance, arguing the delay was a tactic by opponents to weaken the program.

Wiener warned The City’s pilot shuttle program expires Sunday, and that if the board failed to act, The City would be left without regulations in place until something new could be approved:

“I think we have all the information we need.”

The City developed a shuttle regulation program in response to complaints about the corporate shuttle buses, which carry residents to jobs on the Peninsula and elsewhere. The buses were using Muni bus stops without permission and many residents complained that they blocked the streets.

Proponents argue the shuttles take cars off the roads and reduce pollution. The Bay Area Council released a survey last week stating that 62 percent of San Francisco voters favored allowing the shuttles operate in the city and 83 percent agree that the shuttles are getting cars off the road.

More than half also agreed the fees should be increased to cover The City’s costs.