Commuter Shuttle Program
The Commuter Shuttle Program regulates employer-provided shuttles in San Francisco, charging a fee and requiring shuttle operators to adhere to a set of rules and regulations in order to access a network of shared Muni zones and shuttle-only white zones stops. The privately-operated commuter shuttles transport workers from their neighborhoods to places of work or transportation hubs. Shuttles support local San Francisco and regional goals by decreasing single occupancy vehicle (SOV) trips, vehicle miles traveled (VMT), and private vehicle ownership, while encouraging walking and transit use.
On February 21, 2017 the SFMTA Board voted to approve the Commuter Shuttle Program. The vote allows the SFMTA to continue regulating operations of participating commuter shuttles in San Francisco and charging a per-stop fee.
The Commuter Shuttle Program is a voluntary program where participants get access to certain stop locations. The permitted shuttle will receive a placard (one on each side of the bus) to participate in the Commuter Shuttle Program and get access to these stops.
Valid shuttle buses have blue permit authorization stickers with unique six-digit identification numbers (xx-xxxx):
Approved shuttle-only white zones have signs posted including the hours of operation for the commuter shuttle zone:
Buses (casino, tour, school bus, and shuttle) are under the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) authorization and are able to operate in San Francisco pursuant to the (California Vehicle Code (CVC) and the San Francisco Transportation Code. Only commuter shuttles that have SFMTA approved placard are regulated by SFMTA.
The program involves the following characteristics, among others:
- A network of shuttle stop locations, including shared Muni zones and shuttle-only loading zones
- Large shuttles over 35 feet in length may travel and load only on the arterial network as designated by the California Department of Transportation
- Shuttle routes are data enforced with biweekly reviews for operation on restricted streets and penalized for violatioons
- Shuttle service providers apply for a permit to use network, and pay a permit fee based on the number of stops made at authorized locations, with the permit fee covering the SFMTA's costs for administering and enforcing the program with a dedicated team of Parking Control Officers
- Permitted shuttle service providers must phase in the use of newer vehicles, which ensures lower greenhouse gas emissions from the shuttle fleet overall
- Permitted shuttle service providers are required to provide real-time GPS tracking information for all shuttle vehicles used for commuter shuttle service
- Permittees must submit a Service Disruption Prevention Plan with their permit application
- All shuttle drivers must watch a video regarding the safe operation of large vehicles on crowded City streets around people walking and biking
See the Commuter Shuttle Program FAQ for more details.
- Clear and enforceable guidelines for shuttle loading and unloading
- Improved safety in shuttle interactions with other users
- Positive partnership between City agencies and private sector transportation partners
- Reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and associated emissions and congestion
- Keep larger shuttles on designated arterials and off smaller streets
- Prevent Muni service disruption and other impacts to the transportation system
For Shuttle Providers
Commuter shuttle operators pay $8.6 per stop event in order to load and unload in designated shared Muni zones or commuter shuttle-only white zones. Fees go to pay for administration of the program, including a dedicated team of enforcement officers.
The Commuter Shuttles Program requires collaboration between various divisions within the SFMTA, including: Transit Service Planning, Transit Operations, Parking, Finance, and Enforcement. This program was informed by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority’s 2011 Strategic Analysis Report on the commuter shuttle sector, the Commuter Shuttle Pilot Evaluation Report. and the Commuter Shuttle Mid-Year Evaluation.
Private sector partners include shuttle service providers, and employers and institutions that sponsor shuttle service.
The SFMTA conducted an 18-month pilot (August 2014-January 2016) to test sharing designated Muni zones with eligible commuter shuttles that pay a fee and comply with permit terms and released a Pilot Evaluation Report in October 2015. In November 2015, the SFMTA Board passed legislation creating the Commuter Shuttle Program. The Program went into effect on April 1, 2016 and was authorized for a one-year period. A Mid Term Evaluation of the program was conducted in the Fall of 2016. The evaluation found that the Commuter Shuttle Program has improved shuttle operator behavior while minimizing the impacts of shuttle vehicles on the rest of the transportation network.
On February 21, 2017 the SFMTA Board voted to approve the Commuter Shuttle Program. The vote allows the SFMTA to continue regulating operations of commuter shuttles in San Francisco and charging a per-stop fee beyond March 31, 2017, when the Program was set to expire.