Transportation Cold War

Courtesy of Eric Escobar's Helladown.

Courtesy of Eric Escobar's Helladown.

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Eric Escobar, who grew up in the neighborhood and has remained here through his education at UC Berkeley, has some interesting thoughts on what he calls the “Transportation Cold War.” Here’s a snippet:

There’s a popular polemic relating to Google that’s been going around for a good while now: Google’s invasion of our streets for the sake of catering to its make-believe San Francisco residents (or Goobers) has infringed on our privacy. Not only do you have the Neo San Francisco issue (out-of-towners scooting locals off the block), but you also have the Transportation Cold War problem (hulking top of the line buses occupying our own MUNI bus stops). In other words, how dare these people not only try to show us what a real San Franciscan should live like (insufferable and aristocratic), but also try to show our city officials how to run a transportation program?

You can read the FULL PIECE HERE.

Filed under: Mobile, Today's Mission


  1. John

    Maybe the solution is to get rid of Muni, given that nobody seems to like it. And replace it with competing private bus lines.

    You could take a luxury Google-style bus for $5, with wi-fi, coffee, newspapers etc. Or a cheap Mexican-style jitney bus for a buck. And all possibilities inbetween.

    Large buses on the major arteries and small shuttle buses on the secondary routes.

    Apparently the Mayor wants to throw another 10 billion at Muni. why would we ever throw money at an enterprise that consistently fails and that has a rigid, bloated cost structure?

    • Eric

      Correct, John. Hope you read my piece. I make the same point you make, basically. The small details, like coffee and Wi-Fi, are something that would take it into levels of awesomeness not seen ever.

  2. A solution I thought might prove beneficial to everyone is if tech companies (like Google, Facebook and Apple) contributed money towards Bart’s goal of running trains all the way down to San Jose. I’m sure Bart would be willing to build stops convenient to all the major campuses in this case, and the whole Bay Area would be improved by having a more reliable and convenient transportation corridor than Caltrain connecting the “sleepier” areas of the peninsula to San Francisco and the East Bay. In the long run, this would end up being less polarizing and greener than the bus alternative and could open up more affordable housing areas throughout the region for both tech workers and artists alike.

  3. George

    Great idea, Eric. I know the drawback of a Muni-like system is multiple stops. So let’s say the new amalgam let’s call it Eric’suttle made the current stop plus say no more than two others in the same area. First stop would be the “host” like Google. Others would follow. Riders would buy season passes on Eric’shuttle. Wouldn’t Stanford make a good stop. Anyway way to go! Eric you’ve suggested a solution stated in a really fun way. What do you say Google, Apple, Stanford etc?

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