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Poll Finds Support For SF’s Commuter Shuttles And Their Regulation

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A shuttle commonly known as a "Google Bus" arrives at a Muni bus stop in San Francisco to pick up commuters. (CBS)

A shuttle commonly known as a “Google Bus” arrives at a Muni bus stop in San Francisco to pick up commuters. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— The Bay Area Council commissioned a poll this month that found overall, San Francisco voters support commuter shuttle buses, but that they also support their regulation.

The results of the phone poll, conducted by EMC Research of Oakland, were released Tuesday and revealed the attitudes of 500 likely voters.

“Do you support or oppose allowing employee shuttle buses to pick up and drop off passengers at a limited number of Muni bus stops in San Francisco?” principal of EMC Research, Ruth Bernstein, read a sample question aloud.

The results found that 67 percent of those surveyed do support that.

The poll also found voters are supportive of regulation, including potentially charging the companies that supply these shuttles often associated with the tech industry.

The Bay Area Council is a business-sponsored public policy advocacy organization. Bernstein said steps were taken to avoid bias in the poll.

“The questions were randomized and we tried very carefully to word these in a way that they were as neutral as possible,” she said.

Vice president of the Bay Area Council, Matt Regan, said he hopes the results will influence the discourse on shuttles, making the point that the Bay Area is the “birthplace of the tech industry” and it was difficult to believe that the population would “turn on tech”.

“We were obviously very interested to find out; is that true?” Regan asked. According to the results of the poll that’s not true.

An 18-month program currently allows the shuttle buses to legally pick up and drop off passengers at 200 stops previously only designated for Muni.

The companies operating the shuttles pay a $1 fee-per-day for per stop. The tech buses have become a symbol of the growing divide between the have and have nots.

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