VIDEO: Tech buses blocked hours before vote on bus stop fees

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Activist poet Tony Robles in the reflection of a tech bus, stopped by a protest earlier today
Photo by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Two tech buses were surrounded and blockaded by over 100 protesters earlier today, just hours before the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors is set to vote on fees for private shuttle use of public bus stops. 

The protest was organized by Heart of the City, an alliance of many long time housing advocacy groups. The marchers met at UN Plaza at at 8:30am, then proceeded to Market and 8th, where they stopped the two buses that many identified as Facebook and Google buses, based on their destination signs. 

"The corporation that is employing this bus is responsible for the displacement of San Francisco tenants," said Erin McElroy, the head of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, to the crowd. "And we're not going to stand for that for that one more minute."

Techies on their buses worked on their laptops as the protesters swarmed around them. One tech worker even took a quick break to taunt activist and protester Tony Robles (as Robles waves a sign) from the window of his bus. It's in the video below. 

The SFMTA's today will vote on a pilot program that would charge private shuttles $1 per stop, per day for use of public bus stops, which are used by Muni. Mayor Ed Lee, SFMTA head Ed Reiskin and others have claimed that this falls in line with Proposition 218, which limits fees and taxes that municipalities can levy without going to the voters.

But that's is murky rationale for a number of reasons, as the SFMTA said that enforcement would be carried out by off-duty (overtime drawing) enforcement officers, and the idea of those officers overtime fees being fully paid by the $100,000 a year contributions of tech companies is questionable.

Equally questionable, the protesters said, is the idea that Google, Facebook, Genentech, Yahoo, and others would only pay about $100,000 a year for their private shuttles to use bus stops created for and maintained by a taxpayer-funded public transit system. 

Though the mayor and Google have reiterated the talking point that the shuttles take cars off the road, they also delay the already slowdown-plagued Muni system and push pedestrians onto dangerous streets as Muni jockeys for space with the private shuttles.

By 9:30, the SFPD arrived on the scene of the protest and blocked off the entrance to 8th street from Market. Shortly after, the protesters dispersed and continued marching to a Realtor's office, and finally City Hall. There were nearly 30 reporters at the bus blockade, but by the time the protesters reached City Hall, there were only a handful left. 

Comments

Tantrums don't work in politics - progressives are like spoiled children who never, ever learn.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 5:10 pm
Posted by Guest on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 5:26 pm

Nor will the SFBG, the tech shuttles issue is now finished - the MTA vote illustrates that. So within a month they'll find something else to whine about - 6 months ago it was Airbnb, who knows what the next target will be. Whine, defeat and repeat - that's the progressive pattern and in the meantime gentrification continues unabated and big business laughs all the way to the bank.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 5:50 pm
Posted by Guest on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 6:12 pm

Willies Planning Commission approved Live Work lofts as well like they didn't give a shit what anyone else thought. How did that work out for them?

Sad that "my side" is reduced to waiting for their opponents to overreach, but here "we" are.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 7:32 pm
Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 8:11 am

Re the SFBG assertion:

"But that's is murky rationale for a number of reasons, as the SFMTA said that enforcement would be carried out by off-duty (overtime drawing) enforcement officers, and the idea of those officers overtime fees being fully paid by the $100,000 a year contributions of tech companies is questionable."

Not really. The $100K is an average for the dozen or so companies running these types of shuttles. So we're talking somewhere about $1.2 million a year, and remember that the shuttles only appear for about an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening.

So if you read the facts provided by the real journalists you wouldn't think that the math was murky at all.

Posted by Guest2 on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 6:30 pm

by shoving these children out of the way, what would be the "progressive" response.

Posted by maybe a guest on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 8:46 pm

man children in many of your comments. Are you talking about yourself, a middle-aged guy who likes to mention the bars he drinks in and ex-girlfriends?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 9:20 pm

Seriously, what?

Posted by maybe a guest on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 9:34 pm

"maybe a guest" is Matlock.

Some of his "signature" keywords are: progressives, man children, comical, hilarious

The child is just here for someone to play with.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 9:55 pm

His mental hiccups are so distinctive that it's impossible for him to hide himself no matter what handle he uses.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 10:12 pm

Lets say some dude wanted to get to work and didn't have time for the tantrum and made way for the bus shoving around a few people?

What would be the progressive response?

After antagonizing people on the bus, a few bus stoppers get roughed up and you would think...

A. Want someone arrested for shoving some dirty hippies, there should be no consequences to left wing tantrums.

B. Accept that people might get sick of hippie antics and push them out of the way.

Is it all a one way street around this issue? Unemployables and trustafarians tantrum and others get to put up with it? Or is it a level playing field and the bus riders can get off and knock some heads?

Posted by maybe a guest on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 10:43 pm

"Some of his "signature" keywords are: progressives, man children, comical, hilarious"

Not to mention his disjointed style that goes through logical leaps and never quite makes sense even when you do fill in the gaps.

Matlock/maybe a guest is our very own internet version of Rob Ford
http://politicalwire.com/archives/2014/01/21/new_video_shows_ford_rambli...

...without the power of course.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 11:07 pm

Yes, Matlock/maybe a guest is clearly "off the latch." No response or link provided to him is ever sufficient. He'll make fun of it, and go off on another disjointed tangent. So it's futile to respond to anything he says. The word "Asshole" best describes him. And it must be absolute torture for him and people like him to be forced to come to this site on a daily basis that he hates and has no respect for.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 12:11 am

Rioters get to do whatever they want, if there are any repercussions to their antics from their victims its time to call in the cops. The victimizers become victims.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 8:23 am

Interfering with your livelihood is an act of violence against your family, and reasonable force could be justified to resist that.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 8:09 am

You should have the right to pepper spray your way out of it,

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 8:25 am
Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 8:29 am

Person after person has called the protesters "whiners." So maybey somebody can explain to me why protesters are whiners while the people complaining about them are not.

Posted by Guest ethan davidson on Jan. 21, 2014 @ 11:08 pm

It's the protesters who want change so, by definition, they are the ones whining.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 8:10 am

Based on these loco/a comments---jesus! where do these people come from?!...I've never met anyone like them anywhere...maybe it's all 1-2 septic people back and forth hating on the protesters---clearly The Tech Surveillance-State Industrial Complex and their hacks and shills had a full-time day here on this forum. Someone was paid well for the work. No one would put in this much effort for free.

I'd like to thank all the demonstrators who took part in this protest/demonstration. I would have joined you if I could. Muchísimas gracias a todos.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 12:24 am
Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 1:05 am

It must pain you so to be forced to come to a site each day that you hate and despise and read articles that you don't consider credible "journalism." You have my sympathy.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 22, 2014 @ 5:00 am
Posted by Keith Hecht on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 2:31 am

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