The Bay Area Council called “misguided and misdirected” a lawsuit filed May 1 seeking to block an employee shuttle pilot program that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved by an overwhelming 8-2 margin, that eliminates up to 327,000 single-passenger car trips annually, that avoids 8,600 metric tons of carbon emissions annually and that helps thousands of workers from a wide range of industries get to and from their jobs.

Over the past almost two years, the Council has convened companies that use shuttles to meet with city transportation leaders to craft the pilot program, which is due to launch this summer and run for 18 months. It’s not clear what the lawsuit means for the start of the pilot program or the continuing operation of the shuttles. Opponents have sought to blame the shuttles and vilify tech workers for the rising cost of housing in San Francisco. In response, the Council released this statement:

“This lawsuit continues a misguided and misdirected campaign to blame employee shuttles and the tech industry for the serious housing crisis that is afflicting San Francisco and other parts of the region,” said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council. “Rather than trying to halt a transportation program with huge environmental benefits that successfully gets cars off the road, the groups behind this lawsuit would be better served focusing on the real problem of how we create more housing and develop sufficient transportation alternatives to serve everyone. We have failed as a region over the past 30 years to build sufficient housing and make sufficient investments in our transportation system, and we’re feeling the effects of that as the economy goes through a rapid growth spurt. Attacking employee shuttles misses the target completely.”

Ironically, opponents used the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to challenge the pilot program. The Council has advocated for changes to CEQA to avoid abuses of the law for purposes not related to environmental protection. To engage in the Council’s employee shuttles work, contact Policy Manager Adrian Covert.

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