According to a new poll commissioned by business-sponsored, public-policy advocacy organization the Bay Area Council, a large majority of San Francisco voters don't actually believe shuttle buses are a symbol of the city's problems. Also, according to the people who paid for the study, the media is full of crap.
The poll surveyed 500 likely San Francisco voters who were kind enough to pick up the phone when Oakland firm EMC Research called to ask them if they had a minute to answer a few questions. The survey covered to the hot topic du jour: commuter shuttles, tech industry at large and the crumbling city of San Francisco. Of those 500 voters:
... overall, 57 percent have a favorable view of the shuttles, and only 18 percent have a negative view. At the same time, 67 percent of voters support allowing commuter shuttles to use a limited number of SF MUNI bus stops, while 70 percent support allowing shuttles as long as they conform to the kinds of regulatory measures that are included in an 18-month pilot shuttles program currently underway in the city.
A full 72 percent of those folks also support "charging shuttles on a cost-recovery basis" for using Muni stops and two-thirds of them oppose banning them from Muni stops completely, which sounds about right. Bay Area Council CEO Jim Wunderman—who was also a big supporter of billionaire yacht racing—lays the blame on the news media, saying in a statement: "Given the many news stories that theorize that San Franciscans are rebelling against the technology boom and shuttle buses, we were surprised to see the opposite is true - San Franciscans indeed embrace tech and the buses."
As for the tech industry as a whole, the poll also asked those 500 people with telephones if they think tech and commuter shuttles are responsible for larger issues like housing affordability. In that case, 67 percent disagreed that "commuter shuttles are ruining the character of San Francisco." And 63 percent don't believe that "commuter shuttles are a symbol of San Francisco's problems." Which is true. The real problem is rent. Just don't tell that to San Francisco's growing class of anti-shuttle, warrior-poets who rely on the buses to pay the bills.
Finally, if you can't handle the dry poll release (below) perhaps this video commercial prepared by the Bay Area Council will be more your speed:
Bay Area Council Poll [pdf]