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(Reuters)   Google bus stops now have earpiece-equipped plainclothes security guards to protect commuting techies from rebellious San Franciscans bent on class war   (reuters.com ) divider line 36
    More: Strange, Google, identity document, commuters, Google buses, Googleplex, Corporate Security Service Inc, San Francisco's Mission District  
•       •       •

2376 clicks; posted to Geek » on 19 Jan 2014 at 7:20 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-19 06:02:48 PM  
In San Francisco, many long-time residents believe the influx of richly compensated workers at Google and other big technology companies such as Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc has pushed rents to unaffordable levels in neighborhoods that once were homes to the working class.

Nothing new there. My last job in the Bay paid $35K and I couldn't find a place in SF that I could afford. And that was 15 years ago.
 
2014-01-19 07:05:15 PM  
OMG! They have earpieces!
 
2014-01-19 07:12:03 PM  
Well, there's the problem with private companies using public transportation stops as their own.  Google doesn't pay to maintain or clean these stops.  Google isn't accountable to the residents if the residents don't want double the buses coming & going in their neighborhood.  Private buses idling at public bus stops in front of their homes or businesses if the driver is on break or is 'too early' at a stop.  Buses interfering with the actual public bus system.  And these aren't little shuttles:

img.fark.net

Also, landlords are booting out longtime residents along these google bus routes in order to get twice the rent from google employees.  Booting out the poor, the brown, and the black.

img.fark.net
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-01-19 07:19:56 PM  
Private buses idling at public bus stops

About 8 years ago Boston started ticketing the Chinatown (Boston) to Chinatown (NYC) buses for parking in bus stops. They were private buses and the bus stops were for public buses. Behind the scenes, the parking tickets were really prompted by Greyhound. By avoiding South Station, Fung Wah avoided the $5 per passenger fee to use South Station. Greyhound sort of hurt itself by forcing Fung Wah to move in and pay the same fee. The small lines still undercut the big lines. With price comparison made easier by proximity, customers voted cheap. Greyhound had to drop fares to match.

In the long term, the big lines got the FMCSA to smack down the small lines.
 
2014-01-19 07:31:15 PM  

fusillade762: In San Francisco, many long-time residents believe the influx of richly compensated workers at Google and other big technology companies such as Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc has pushed rents to unaffordable levels in neighborhoods that once were homes to the working class.

Nothing new there. My last job in the Bay paid $35K and I couldn't find a place in SF that I could afford. And that was 15 years ago.


Yep, Bay area denizens were paying outrageous rents before google...
 
2014-01-19 07:38:53 PM  

penthesilea: Well, there's the problem with private companies using public transportation stops as their own.  Google doesn't pay to maintain or clean these stops.  Google isn't accountable to the residents if the residents don't want double the buses coming & going in their neighborhood.  Private buses idling at public bus stops in front of their homes or businesses if the driver is on break or is 'too early' at a stop.  Buses interfering with the actual public bus system.  And these aren't little shuttles:

[img.fark.net image 749x421]

Also, landlords are booting out longtime residents along these google bus routes in order to get twice the rent from google employees.  Booting out the poor, the brown, and the black.

[img.fark.net image 850x1156]


What additional maintenance and cleaning are required at these bus stops due to the google buses using them?  The employees who get on the buses at these stops are pay taxes to maintain them.  Since when did residents have a veto over who gets to drive along a public road?  Remember that many of these residents are the people getting on the buses.  I'm sure at the very least, they're ok with it.

Demand has gone up and pushed the price up.  Google employees from all races are moving in and people who can't afford the rent increases are moving out.  Playing the race card isn't evidence to support your claim.
 
2014-01-19 07:46:35 PM  
It's no fair that someone with a useful computer science degree is getting paid more than someone with a liberal arts/philosophy Ph.D! That's not what San Francisco is about. Everyone should be paid the same.
 
2014-01-19 07:46:52 PM  
How do you tell if it's a google bus stop? Is the bench trying to quietly sell you something?
 
2014-01-19 07:47:01 PM  
Google should stop clogging up the streets with their buses so they can instead be clogged up with a couple dozen cars per eliminated bus instead.
 
2014-01-19 07:47:29 PM  

penthesilea: Also, landlords are booting out longtime residents along these google bus routes in order to get twice the rent from google employees.  Booting out the poor, the brown, and the black.



You can put the card away.  The landlords only recognize two colors: green and not-so-green.
 
2014-01-19 07:59:47 PM  
In San Francisco, many long-time residents believe the influx of richly compensated workers at Google and other big technology companies such as Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc has pushed rents to unaffordable levels in neighborhoods that once were homes to the working class.

Isn't San Francisco the city that refuses to let any new housing be built, which drives up the prices of what is available due the high demand?
 
2014-01-19 08:05:42 PM  

ReapTheChaos: Isn't San Francisco the city that refuses to let any new housing be built, which drives up the prices of what is available due the high demand?


Shhh... Pointing out those kind of contradictions in the hippie logic slightly weakens their ability to feel good about themselves while silently judging everyone just like the rest of us..
 
2014-01-19 08:18:46 PM  
Money's more important than people. I have a feeling the real police will start cracking hippies skulls if they start antagonizing the corporate overlords to much.
 
2014-01-19 08:31:45 PM  

ReapTheChaos: In San Francisco, many long-time residents believe the influx of richly compensated workers at Google and other big technology companies such as Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc has pushed rents to unaffordable levels in neighborhoods that once were homes to the working class.

Isn't San Francisco the city that refuses to let any new housing be built, which drives up the prices of what is available due the high demand?


Yup.  And no new infrastructure to support people living in the burbs and drinking in SF.

Mind you, this half-assed statism clearly doesn't work.

Either let new housing be built as the market is *clearly* demanding or nationalize (cityize?) all housing and do it by lottery.

OR you all can keep watching as you all get priced out of your city because the tech guys are willing and able to throw money at the problem, and the tech companies are able and willing to raise wages faster than you can raise housing prices (Seriously, I'm making 2.5x more than both my parents combined, and I'm below market at a startup).

/Seriously, the approval process is SO farked up that they held a city-wide vote on whether or not to build a housing development because that was *easier* than going through the actual process.
//And then the vote failed.    Woops.
 
2014-01-19 09:01:47 PM  
If Google didn't pay substantially less tax than other tech companies, there would probably be less people upset with them.
 
2014-01-19 09:29:41 PM  
Put in real public transport. If there is such a dearth of decent transit that private companies are taking over, there is a problem. Put in trains, streetcars, and buses.

Google should not be busing in their employees. They shouldn't have to, they shouldn't want to, and really they shouldn't even be allowed to, as it's turned one of the last sectors of relative equality - mass transit - into a tiered system. If wealthy tech workers make up a decent part of the workforce, but never use public services, it destroys demand to improve those public services and leaves them as second-class conveyances for the poor, at which point they steadily degrade as the rich and powerful suck the tax money out of public transit (as they never use it and don't see the value).

I could go on, but realistically? Google is going to find a way, and public transit will keep sucking, and the divide between those who serve google and other wealthy companies and the people who don't will continue to grow.
 
2014-01-19 09:32:47 PM  

adamatari: Put in real public transport. If there is such a dearth of decent transit that private companies are taking over, there is a problem. Put in trains, streetcars, and buses.


There is public transport.  The tech companies are using the public stops.
 
2014-01-19 09:41:48 PM  

penthesilea: Google doesn't pay to maintain or clean these stops.


Yes.  They do.  So does Apple and Facebook.  It was announced a week and a half ago.  Please try to keep up.

penthesilea: Buses interfering with the actual public bus system.


Perhaps if the public transportation system in San Francisco wasn't so fark'n bad - google and others wouldn't have to resort to hiring their own buses.

penthesilea: Also, landlords are booting out longtime residents along these google bus routes in order to get twice the rent from google employees.


I can somewhat sympathize with this however living in San Francisco has ALWAYS been expensive and San Francisco has failed time and time again to address this issue.

/turned down three jobs in the Bay Area over the last couple of years because I didn't want to deal with this bullshiat
 
2014-01-19 09:49:52 PM  

penthesilea: adamatari: Put in real public transport. If there is such a dearth of decent transit that private companies are taking over, there is a problem. Put in trains, streetcars, and buses.

There is public transport.  The tech companies are using the public stops.


Not to get to Google in a semi-reasonable time frame.  You're going from middle of SF to corner of Mountain View.  It's about 40 miles and an hour or so under ideal circumstances.

Caltrain gets you from SOMA to downtown Mountain View (and it would then be completely reasonable to expect Google to run shuttles from Caltrain to the various offices, so add another 10-15 minutes) in about an hour if you're at peak commute times.  You also can't get from Caltrain to Google via bus (This *may* change at some point.  I've heard rumblings about redeveloping the whole neighborhood between downtown and Google) and Caltrain doesn't have NEARLY enough bike storage for everyone to do those last few miles.

But MUNI currently takes about an hour to get from one side of the city to the other, and given SF rents, even Googlers can't afford to live in SOMA.  And both MUNI and Killtrain are famously unreliable.

So you're talking about 1.5 - 2 hours each way in a crowded bus/MUNI car/train with no WIFI (which from Google's perspective == lower productivity) and 2 transfers at minimum that may or may not happen to be working on any given day.  OR Google can just extend their shuttle service (that they'd have to have because there is NO reasonable mass transit from North/East Bay to Google.  Oh, and because North Bay, it'd have to be going through SF anyways) to SF proper.

/You're right, but there is NO WAY IN HELL that the existing mass transit infrastructure serves Google's needs.
//And there's NO WAY IN HELL that adding more traffic to 101 and 85 (if they snuck down 280 and cut up) is a good idea, and that's by FAR the best alternative right now if you kill the shuttles.
 
2014-01-19 10:21:41 PM  

meyerkev: penthesilea: adamatari: Put in real public transport. If there is such a dearth of decent transit that private companies are taking over, there is a problem. Put in trains, streetcars, and buses.

There is public transport.  The tech companies are using the public stops.

Not to get to Google in a semi-reasonable time frame.  You're going from middle of SF to corner of Mountain View.  It's about 40 miles and an hour or so under ideal circumstances.


Oh, and (and this is the really funny part) Google is in the ideal place for transit as far as big companies go.

Google has several major 2-3 lane roads (and a more or less dedicated freeway in the form of 85.  Seriously, there's as many lanes on the Google exit as there are on the honest to god freeway right next to it) heading into Google from the Caltrain Station, as well as a couple of bike trails for that last mile.  And MV is an express train stop.  So plenty of room to run shuttles and bikers.  Maybe.

Facebook is in East Menlo Park.  The closest express stop is Palo Alto, but because Palo Alto has no farking road network because Palo Alto, it can take 30 minutes to get from Palo Alto Caltrain to Facebook fairly easily.  No.

Apple is way the fark down in Cupertino.  Nearest Caltrain Stop is Sunnyvale (which is sometimes an express), but that's a good 20-30 minute drive from Apple during rush hour (because the secondary road network around here is such a farking joke).  Or you can drop a bus down 280, which is more or less clear in the mornings (Not so much the evenings, but we can't have everything, can we).  No.

Yahoo is in the middle of Santa Clara right off 101.  It's actually sort of close to a light rail/"Amtrak from the East Bay" stop, but the light rail is such a farking joke that that's not even worth mentioning (15 minute drive from Mt. View to downtown San Jose, 40 minute light rail trip. Enough said).  So the 2 nearest Caltrain Stops are both non-express stops, and if you really don't know what you're doing, have fun finding the one train an hour that doesn't skip them both.  So buses it is then.  Oh hell No.

EA is actually in a much better position.  About the same as Google.  Halfway up the Peninsula, they're a 10 minute drive from 2 non-express stations and a 20 minute drive (rush hour sucks) from 2 express stations.  So train to shuttle could work (if only because that section of 101 is really farked up because of the giant line of cars waiting to get onto the 3 lane San Mateo bridge, and using the train to get into the general area is a good thing).  Maybe.

Ebay is way down in far-off San Jose.  Nice little 10-15 minute drive from Caltrain (and there's light rail, but that takes 20 minutes) and an express train gets you from Ebay to SF in 75 minutes or so without dealing with 280 traffic.  Yes

So of the 6 companies on the above map, you have 1 Yes, 2 maybe's and 3 No's as far as using transit plus shuttles on the last mile.

And of course, with all of these, you have the giant pain in the ass that is getting to Caltrain from the rest of the city (Seriously, royal pain in the ass.  This MAY be fixed come Transbay Terminal/Central Subway time in a decade or so).
 
2014-01-19 11:09:05 PM  

meyerkev: ReapTheChaos: In San Francisco, many long-time residents believe the influx of richly compensated workers at Google and other big technology companies such as Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc has pushed rents to unaffordable levels in neighborhoods that once were homes to the working class.

Isn't San Francisco the city that refuses to let any new housing be built, which drives up the prices of what is available due the high demand?

Yup.  And no new infrastructure to support people living in the burbs and drinking in SF.

Mind you, this half-assed statism clearly doesn't work.

Either let new housing be built as the market is *clearly* demanding or nationalize (cityize?) all housing and do it by lottery.

OR you all can keep watching as you all get priced out of your city because the tech guys are willing and able to throw money at the problem, and the tech companies are able and willing to raise wages faster than you can raise housing prices (Seriously, I'm making 2.5x more than both my parents combined, and I'm below market at a startup).

/Seriously, the approval process is SO farked up that they held a city-wide vote on whether or not to build a housing development because that was *easier* than going through the actual process.
//And then the vote failed.    Woops.


Setting all of the politics and bullshiat aside, why won't SF allow new housing? That's a bizarre thing, considering that nothing there is particularly old or awesome. It's your typical mixture of crap houses and not crap houses.
 
2014-01-20 12:28:36 AM  

penthesilea: Well, there's the problem with private companies using public transportation stops as their own.  Google doesn't pay to maintain or clean these stops.  Google isn't accountable to the residents if the residents don't want double the buses coming & going in their neighborhood.  Private buses idling at public bus stops in front of their homes or businesses if the driver is on break or is 'too early' at a stop.  Buses interfering with the actual public bus system.  And these aren't little shuttles:

[img.fark.net image 749x421]

Also, landlords are booting out longtime residents along these google bus routes in order to get twice the rent from google employees.  Booting out the poor, the brown, and the black.

[img.fark.net image 850x1156]


Hey, it's like there's an actual news story with social implications under there that Reuters decided to ignore in favor of "Resentful Hippies Prompt Use Of Security Guards At Bus Stop"!
 
2014-01-20 01:24:50 AM  

adamatari: Put in real public transport. If there is such a dearth of decent transit that private companies are taking over, there is a problem. Put in trains, streetcars, and buses.


Gee, I wonder why San Francisco never thought to use trains, streetcars and buses?
 
2014-01-20 01:50:25 AM  

kroonermanblack: meyerkev: ReapTheChaos: In San Francisco, many long-time residents believe the influx of richly compensated workers at Google and other big technology companies such as Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc has pushed rents to unaffordable levels in neighborhoods that once were homes to the working class.

Isn't San Francisco the city that refuses to let any new housing be built, which drives up the prices of what is available due the high demand?

Yup.  And no new infrastructure to support people living in the burbs and drinking in SF.

Mind you, this half-assed statism clearly doesn't work.

Either let new housing be built as the market is *clearly* demanding or nationalize (cityize?) all housing and do it by lottery.

OR you all can keep watching as you all get priced out of your city because the tech guys are willing and able to throw money at the problem, and the tech companies are able and willing to raise wages faster than you can raise housing prices (Seriously, I'm making 2.5x more than both my parents combined, and I'm below market at a startup).

/Seriously, the approval process is SO farked up that they held a city-wide vote on whether or not to build a housing development because that was *easier* than going through the actual process.
//And then the vote failed.    Woops.

Setting all of the politics and bullshiat aside, why won't SF allow new housing? That's a bizarre thing, considering that nothing there is particularly old or awesome. It's your typical mixture of crap houses and not crap houses.


There is some nice stuff. Lot of ugly, cheaply-constructed buildings no one should care about when they get bulldozed, too. Nonetheless, people get irrationally up in arms about preserving things which are objectively pure shiat, and politicians then pander to them. Also, nobody wants their view blocked by a high rise, and nobody wants parking spaces to get harder to get, or the already obscene traffic in their neighborhoods to become worse. Classic NIMBY shiat, and the politicians then let the screechy, whiny, and unstable "activists" gum up the process to appear "inclusive". Planning and building departments are also wonderfully corrupt and inefficient. You can get things done. Before attempting to, one should make a stab at figuring what a reasonable cost in time and money to get your project to the point of breaking ground would be. Then double it, and cross your fingers.
 
2014-01-20 02:29:34 AM  

forgotmydamnusername: or the already obscene traffic in their neighborhoods to become worse


Mind you, there's a reason why every other major city pulled their mass transit off street level.

Just saying.  The traffic's terrible because the mass transit is famously unreliable AND stuck in traffic, so it doesn't even save you any time.

/Plus the homeless problem.  Can't forget the homeless problem.
 
2014-01-20 03:21:48 AM  

meyerkev: EA is actually in a much better position.  About the same as Google.  Halfway up the Peninsula, they're a 10 minute drive from 2 non-express stations and a 20 minute drive (rush hour sucks) from 2 express stations.  So train to shuttle could work (if only because that section of 101 is really farked up because of the giant line of cars waiting to get onto the 3 lane San Mateo bridge, and using the train to get into the general area is a good thing).  Maybe.


Yeah, they have a shuttle that goes between the office and two of the caltrain stops. i worked for a while in a building next to EA, and during the first year or so, the shuttles were actually open to the public...although they scrapped that when it started getting really crowded. There's another public shuttle that services a few of the other nearby offices, main problem was that it stopped running after 5pm or so which is fine for banks but pretty early for tech places to have employees leaving. In a pinch it's actually almost walkable from caltrain into that office area but you have to cross a few pretty dangerous intersections where drivers almost never expect pedestrians.

And of course, with all of these, you have the giant pain in the ass that is getting to Caltrain from the rest of the city (Seriously, royal pain in the ass.  This MAY be fixed come Transbay Terminal/Central Subway time in a decade or so).

That was my experience as well. my muni/caltrain commute was 1.5h each way, and 60% of that was on the muni side going the 3 miles from my house to the caltrain station. you had to leave early because you never knew if it was gonna take 35 minutes or 60 minutes, and it was sardine packed standing room only for the first 1/2 of the trip. on the way home you'd have at least 2-3 days a month where the bus just that was scheduled didn't show up adding 20-40 minutes to the trip. if they could improve the reliability and maybe look at doing some express service between a few major stops it could possibly be improved, the main issue is the muni mandate that there is a bus stop every 2 blocks and when you stop at every single one it's extremely time consuming even for traveling relatively short distances.
 
2014-01-20 03:37:45 AM  
SF is getting all this yuppie money coming in with minimal impact to their traffic.

How is this bad again?

I don't believe that city buses are impacted by these charter buses in any significant way.  Buses wait behind cars on the roads, too.
 
2014-01-20 04:38:40 AM  

Sugarbombs: penthesilea: Also, landlords are booting out longtime residents along these google bus routes in order to get twice the rent from google employees.  Booting out the poor, the brown, and the black.


You can put the card away.  The landlords only recognize two colors: green and not-so-green.


And there is no point trolling Fark for sympathy for poor and minorities. Your typical born-on-third-base-thinks-he-hit-a-triple Fark whiteboy has NO sympathy for such people, and indeed considers himself to be the chief victim of racism because he is unable to call people n___ers without getting punched in the mouth.
 
2014-01-20 06:22:37 AM  

jso2897: Sugarbombs: penthesilea: Also, landlords are booting out longtime residents along these google bus routes in order to get twice the rent from google employees.  Booting out the poor, the brown, and the black.


You can put the card away.  The landlords only recognize two colors: green and not-so-green.

And there is no point trolling Fark for sympathy for poor and minorities. Your typical born-on-third-base-thinks-he-hit-a-triple Fark whiteboy has NO sympathy for such people, and indeed considers himself to be the chief victim of racism because he is unable to call people n___ers without getting punched in the mouth.


Not bad, you should get some bites for that

/Libulardos
 
2014-01-20 06:37:01 AM  
San Franciscans are extremely provincial.  They consider the South Bay to be a horrible sprawling culture-less malignant growth. They view the Google employees as a sort of metastasis. They may be right.

Also, there are no hippies anymore, or damned few. The summer of love was in 1967 for crying out loud.
 
2014-01-20 07:37:35 AM  

penthesilea: Well, there's the problem with private companies using public transportation stops as their own.  Google doesn't pay to maintain or clean these stops.  Google isn't accountable to the residents if the residents don't want double the buses coming & going in their neighborhood.  Private buses idling at public bus stops in front of their homes or businesses if the driver is on break or is 'too early' at a stop.  Buses interfering with the actual public bus system.  And these aren't little shuttles:

[img.fark.net image 749x421]

Also, landlords are booting out longtime residents along these google bus routes in order to get twice the rent from google employees.  Booting out the poor, the brown, and the black.

[img.fark.net image 850x1156]


You'd think the public transportation system would figure out that express buses on high volume routes would defuse the whole "they're using our infrastructure" silliness, and the public buses could undercut the private ones with a sensible pricing scheme (think annual passes that work with the entire transit system).

But in SF, I am sure that is considered crazy talk.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-01-20 07:55:46 AM  
You'd think the public transportation system would figure out that express buses on high volume routes would defuse the whole "they're using our infrastructure" silliness, and the public buses could undercut the private ones with a sensible pricing scheme (think annual passes that work with the entire transit system).

Some places make employers buy transit passes for all employees, at a discounted price related to how many employees are likely to use them. This changes the "drive or ride" decision. Mandatory passes are most useful when some employers are on underutilized routes or employees commute outside of rush hour. Then the transit agency gets revenue without adding expenses. A full bus costs the same as an empty bus. Adding more bodies to a full bus makes the agency pay for more buses.
 
2014-01-20 08:09:26 AM  
Why don't they just drive a BMW 750 to work?autoplanex.com
 
2014-01-20 03:41:25 PM  
penthesilea: Google isn't accountable to the residents if the residents don't want double the buses coming & going in their neighborhood. 

Of course not. If they're on public roads why would they be accountable to the residents?

Also, landlords are booting out longtime residents along these google bus routes in order to get twice the rent from google employees.  Booting out the poor, the brown, and the black.

I have sympathy for the people losing their place. I really do. But what is the solution and who is the villain here?

Are landlords not allowed to raise prices if they can get that money from someone? I mean, you don't get squatters' rights or something just because you're a longtime resident. You don't own the place.

Is Google not supposed to hire so many people or pay them so well? What do they have to feel bad about?
 
2014-01-20 04:10:26 PM  

SkittlesAreYum: penthesilea:  Google isn't accountable to the residents if the residents don't want double the buses coming & going in their neighborhood. 

Of course not. If they're on public roads why would they be accountable to the residents?

Also, landlords are booting out longtime residents along these google bus routes in order to get twice the rent from google employees.  Booting out the poor, the brown, and the black.

I have sympathy for the people losing their place. I really do. But what is the solution and who is the villain here?

Are landlords not allowed to raise prices if they can get that money from someone? I mean, you don't get squatters' rights or something just because you're a longtime resident. You don't own the place.

Is Google not supposed to hire so many people or pay them so well? What do they have to feel bad about?


This is San Francisco we're talking about, so actually, rent control exists, and often works like that. The landlords often engage in tactics that are a bit dodgy, legally speaking, to get rid of tenants. It's a terrible system for all involved, really. I don't know what the answer is.
 
2014-01-20 09:14:25 PM  
I thought all tech nerds just worked from home and applied their genius in isolation, only coming into the office to play ping pong and drink craft beer?

So, all these people are coming in to play ping pong and drink craft beer?  Damn.
 
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