"The SFMTA is not regulating shuttle routing," the transit agency announced when they kicked off their 18-month-long pilot program allowing tech buses to use Muni stops. Wonder if they regretted that decision when, as SFist first reported, five days into the pilot a corporate shuttle bottomed out, blocking a Muni line in both directions. Well, it's too late for the MTA to mandate routes now, but that doesn't mean that they won't make bus companies that screw up like this one did pay the price for it.
As you of course recall, a little before 9 a.m. Tuesday, J-Church riders were stranded at 21st and Chattanooga after an errant Royal Coach-owned shuttle got stuck on the intersection's notoriously tricky slope, eventually forcing Muni riders onto shuttles of their own.
But while some appear to believe that the nature of the delay was immaterial...
@onethinline So what if it's a tech shuttle?— Lauren F. (@laurenfisch) August 5, 2014
...the SFMTA takes a less conciliatory approach, telling KCBS that, regarding the incident, “We do look to charge restitution, the cost of any additional service to get our passengers and customers around that area.”
Sadly, the MTA isn't saying what size bill they'll be sending to Royal Coach, which admits that they shuttle tech workers in the area, but wouldn't say for what company.
Meanwhile, the transit agency is also encouraging Muni drivers to dime out rule-breaking shuttle drivers. As reported by Bus Driver Stories, a memo was circulated to operators telling them that "your feedback is key to reducing conflicts and deciding if the program is working," telling them to "Call Central Control" and file reports* if they witness shuttle bus scofflaws.
Given that the memo says that "it is clear there have been conflicts with commuter shuttles throughout the city," (oh, elegant understatement, thy name is SFMTA Director of Transit Jack Haley), we're sure that drivers won't be shy about letting their bosses know how well (or not) things are going.