The San Francisco Bay Guardian wrote today about the Google buses and what the controversy points to: a need for a regional bus system. Interestingly, for years there were private shuttles that took San Francisco residents around the city for 10 cents a ride and one of the builders of that business is still in the Mission District.
But the controversy over the private commuter buses does show that there is great potential for a public regional express bus system. Consider that in 1980, nine percent of commuters in San Francisco left the city every day to go to work. In 2010, outbound commuters approached 25 percent. Owing to regional political fragmentation, Muni cannot provide intercounty service and thus is not the travel mode of choice for many of these commuters. And although Caltrain and BART offer some regional service, the sprawling locations of suburban firms often make regional rail impractical or at the very least time-consuming owing to unavoidable multiple transfers to local buses. READ MORE HERE.