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SFMTA Board of Directors approves Commuter Shuttle Program

The SFMTA Board of Directors unanimously approved enhanced regulations for commuter shuttles that will restrict larger shuttle buses from smaller streets, require greener fleets to reduce emissions and put in place rules to prevent labor disruptions.

The new regulations create an ongoing program that builds off an 18-month pilot program set to expire at the end of January 2016. Under the ongoing program, the fee charged to shuttle operators will increase to pay for stepped-up enforcement. The higher fee will also help cover the cost of street improvements like boarding islands and sidewalk bulbs that will also improve Muni performance and enhance pedestrian safety.

Under state law, the fee is limited to the cost of running the program. The updated amount will depend on a number of factors, but it will be higher than the $2.4 million per year collected from shuttle companies under the pilot program.

Under the new regulations, which take effect February 1, 2016:

  • Commuter shuttles over 35 feet long must stay on Caltrans arterial street network.
  • All shuttle vehicles not already approved for use in the pilot as of January 31, 2016 must be either model year 2012 or newer, or be equipped with a power source that complies with emissions standards applicable to the 2012 class of vehicle. As of January 1, 2020, all shuttle vehicles used in the program must be model year 2012 or newer.  After 2020, all shuttle vehicles must be no more than 8 years old.
  • Shuttle operators must also comply with the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ March 2015 Labor Harmony Resolution, including the submission of a Service Disruption Prevention Plan that describes the shuttle operators’ efforts to ensure efficient and consistent service in the event of potential disruptions, including labor disputes.
  • Increased data sharing from participating shuttle operators to better understand where their vehicles are operating and assist in enforcement.

The changes to the program were informed by lessons learned from the pilot and feedback SFMTA received.