San Francisco

San Francisco to Tax Tech Company Shuttles

Call it a "resentment fee"

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San Francisco plans to start regulating employee shuttles for companies like Google, Facebook and Apple, charging a fee for those that use public bus stops and controlling where they load and unload.

The influx of private shuttle buses, which transport thousands of San Francisco workers to their jobs, has created traffic problems on the city's narrow streets, blocking public bus stops during peak commuting hours.

For some locals, these buses have become a tangible symbol of economic inequality and the aggressive wave of gentrification sweeping through large swaths of San Francisco and Oakland as a result of the burgeoning technology industry.

Protesters have blocked buses in the city's Mission District, a popular tech-employee neighborhood where the shuttles are prevalent. In Oakland, protesters broke the window of a Google shuttle bus.

Now, almost as if in response, the city of San Francisco has outlined plans to tax the tech companies if they want to continue offering their workers private transportation.

Mayor Ed Lee and other city leaders joined Google, Facebook, Apple and other companies Monday to announce an 18-month pilot program to charge a fee based on the number of stops each shuttle provider makes.