Bay Area commuters were the big winners this week in a unanimous decision by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to make permanent a commuter shuttles program that the Bay Area Council was instrumental in developing. Battling against sometimes violent opposition, the Council organized a coalition of companies that pay for commuter shuttles and the operators that run them to work with the city in creating the program. Council President and CEO Jim Wunderman had this to say about the decision:

“Today’s decision marks a major milestone in our continuing battle against traffic gridlock. Commuter shuttles remove 2 million single passenger car trips from our congested roads and highways every year, along with a significant amount of carbon emissions. And they help supplement a public transit system that is bursting at the seams. We applaud the SFMTA for its leadership and vision in working with employers to make commuter shuttles a viable and permanent transportation alternative for thousands of workers, not just in the tech sector but across many industries and disciplines. The commuter shuttles program has become a model for other regions around the world that are searching for solutions to growing traffic. The Bay Area Council is extremely proud of the role we could play in bringing together employers, shuttle companies and the city to make this program possible.”

The Bay Area Council almost two years ago began convening employers to work with SFMTA in gathering information for a pilot program to test and study how shuttles could operate safely in coordination with local MUNI buses and with minimal impact on neighborhoods. The program established a series of common sense regulations and practices governing how the shuttles operate. The results of the 18-month pilot program, which was paid for by a fee charged to shuttle operators, proved conclusively that the shuttles could safely co-exist with local transit and were effective in removing cars from the roads. In fact, the program helped dramatically reduce conflicts between the shuttles and public buses. To engage in our commuter shuttles work, please contact Policy Director Adrian Covert.

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