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Private Shuttles May Share San Francisco Muni Bus Stops

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) - The private shuttle buses many large companies rely on to move employees and clients around San Francisco still occupy an uncertain place in the city's transit landscape.

Universities such as UCSF use shuttle buses to move students from campus to campus. Tech companies such as Goggle shuttle employees down to jobs on the Peninsula. Hospitals and medical centers run shuttles to connect various facilities, often faster and quicker than Muni.

KCBS' Barbara Taylor Reports:

Unlike Muni buses, there are few designated areas where private shuttles can legally load and unload passengers, and transportation planners must now consider how to solve the problem.

"It's important for these shuttles to succeed, because if they don't succeed, we're going to see a ton more cars on our highways and streets," said Supervisor Scott Wiener.

The city requires large employers to offer transit alternatives for their employees, either in the form of commuter benefits, ride sharing or a service such as a shuttle.

City officials estimate that company shuttles now move about 5,000 people a day, up from 2,000 just three years ago, increasing the chances for a potential conflict with Muni.

"Are there places and times where bus zones could be shared? And are there places and times where it is really problematic," said Carli Paine, a project director at the San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Agency.

Paine has been drafting policy recommendations for how shuttle services might take advantage of existing Muni stops and other existing passenger loading zones.

"It behooves us to work together to figure out where do they stop, because we want them to stop somewhere that's safe, that's convenient for them, and that doesn't cause conflict," she said.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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