Residents sound off over commuter shuttle report

Residents in San Francisco were not impressed with the results of a mid-year report on The City’s Commuter Shuttle Program.

Results showed fewer of the shuttles driving on restricted streets and having fewer conflicts with Muni buses at shared bus stop locations, but residents said they still see commuter shuttles violating regulations through the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s shuttle program.

Vince Blaskovich and Paul Quin have a shuttle drop off location in front of their house on 16th and Sanchez streets where shuttle buses drop off passengers between the hours of 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Blaskovich told the SFMTA’s Board of Directors on Tuesday that the shuttles have been following the permitted times:

“In the evening the buses continue using them, up until 10:30, 11 o’clock at night.”

He also has seen buses taking up two lanes of traffic and buses using the pick up location across the street as a drop off location.

Quin said he had concerns about the pick up location, which is near Sanchez Elementary School, because of the parents who drop off their kids at the school. He added that transit planners need to come out and observe what goes on at that shuttle stop.

Muni rider Bob Planthold said that commuter shuttles continue to not allow Muni buses to pull in:

“And that means people cannot get the lift deployed to get on or off.”

Patricia Lovelock called the commuter shuttle stop at Gough and Bush streets a nightmare.

She said understands that Gough Street is an arterial, but not when commuter shuttles are blocking the street.

Transit planners also presented a study looking at putting commuter shuttles in a hub system where they would either be at single location in The City, near BART stations or freeways and shrinking the current program to fewer shuttle stops.

All four of the proposals showed that shuttle riders would rather instead drive especially if a single-hub system were in place.

Adrian Covert, vice president of the Bay Area Council, said the mid-year report shows the current program is working. He said the progress made on the current program could be undone with a hub system.

SFMTA’s board Director Cheryl Brinkman said she sympathizes with residents who have the shuttles in their neighborhoods or front of their residence, but said will continue to support the shuttle program:

“I think we are helping people to get to their jobs without using their personal car.”

She added that the transit agency needs to look into reigning in shuttles idling at stops.

SFMTA staff will present the mid-year report and hub study to the Board of Supervisors at a later date.