First I’ve noticed this one:
I like it better than this one, which, in any event, reminds me of the Deflate-gate cheaters…
First I’ve noticed this one:
I like it better than this one, which, in any event, reminds me of the Deflate-gate cheaters…
To review, corporate shuttles aren’t allowed to “stage” (hang out, idle around, wait for the next run to start) in MUNI bus stops. Here is staging in action, just yesterday:
Arguably, the whole SFMTA Commuter Bus Pilot Program does not comply with CA state law. Arguably.
Having said that, this Facebook vehicle isn’t in compliance – disallowed staging and no green SFMTA Pilot sign front and rear.
And what’s this, homemade-appearing Florida license plates – looks legit!
Of course it’s good for drivers to take a break to walk around sometimes, but there’s no official place for these buses to do so.
Astonishingly, FB drove these drivers into becoming fully-unionized Teamsters. I understand the distance that Zuck wants to keep from liability – from accidents and the sometimes-crazy actions of workers, but man, there’s been a signif. cost to its corporate image. Couldn’t FB have said it wants the lowest bidder but that the drivers must be paid like $50 an hour? IDK.
Oh, really this is a Loop Transit bus? Well no, it’s a Facebook bus, you know, IRL
On It Goes…
Get up to speed on corporate bus “staging” right here – just keep going down.
So a couple months ago, the Facebook got busted by blithely staging its buses on Masonic. Then all of a sudden the buses went away – you could still see them moving but you wouldn’t see them sitting around at a makeshift bus terminal on Masonic complete with a supervisor standing about in the Panhandle, fine.
So where do all these buses sit around these days? Well, all over. The Facebook Bus Teamsters are trying to hide out around the neighborhood for 10-15 minutes at a time. And, through trial and error, they’ve found some better places.
Like here on Ashbury, as seen yesterday AM. This location is much less disruptive than the slow lane of Masonic, certainly. But I don’t think this routine is SFMTA-approved either.
Anyway, this idling bus bothered at least one person, who took a snap and sent it over to me.
I’ll tell you, I’ve seen more buses about lately, but I can’t ID them very well from a distance, oh well.
Now to some, this isn’t a Facebook bus, to them it’s a Loop Transit bus or a WEDRIVEU or whathaveyou. But I don’t look at things that way. IMO, this is a Facebook bus, because it’s a Facebook bus, right? Tell me if I’m wrong.
Anyway, where should these giant buses stage?
Here’s a snapshot of our SFMTA’s corporate bus 18-month pilot deal.
It’s a “Corinthian International Parking Services” truckvanbus blocking a 21 Hayes MUNI bus (and even though this might look like one vehicle with an articulated bend in the middle, you’re seeing two different vehicles parked nose-to-tail):
Sort of blocking, anyway.
(Now I’ll tell you, I’m in my 40’s, so I know all about Corinthian and its soft leather courtesy of Ricardo Montalban – this truckvanbus has gotta be totally pimped out on the inside with a name like Corinthian on the outside. Compare that with the MUNI bus with its pleather (at best!) driver’s seat and hard plastic surfaces for the passengers. And any wood you see inside a MUNI is unlikely to have been claimed in the first place, much less reclaimed. MUNI buses aren’t baller at all.)
Now, where was I? Oh, here we go, it turns out that the Corinthian IPS driver was “staging,” you know, just chilling out waiting for the time to move on. You can see the Windex he’s holding as he TCBs shortly after the MUNI bus moved on:
Point One: I, for one, would be afraid of getting a parking ticket via MUNI’s forward-facing video cams, so I would have gotten in the trackvanbus and then simply have driven around the block with a quickness, in deference to America’s Slowest Big City Transit System.
Point Two: Also, it just seems rude to sit there blocking the stop, so I would have gotten in the trackvanbus and then simply have driven around the block with a quickness.
Point Three: Staging in a designated MUNI stop is specifically against the rules. [See below.]
So, on it goes with the pilot program, which sure as Heck seems to me to be agin current California law.
I’m not calling 311 to report the SFMTA pilot number to be put on hold forever the way The Man wants me to, I’m just updating you, the Gentle Reader.
(And I’ll tell you, this is small potatoes compared with Facebook double-parking on Masonic day after day.)
And BTW, our SFMTA is in complete denial about whose employees /contractors are riding around in which bus – I guess they’re under a lot of corporate pressure…
Read on for all the rules of this game:
Here you go, it’s a photo from area reporter/producer Sam Harnett, as he was laboring for KQED en la Mision:
A techie is recording right back, to even the odds, one supposes.
Now, which corporate PR team is behind this?
One company pressured an employee to recant an interview we had already done. The PR team told me that story could be “weaponized” against the company, which was “under a microscope.”
I can guess.
I says to myself, I says, what is this, did all of Miami Beach come to the Western Addition?
And then I see the Florida plates:
Oh, that explains that. And then I notice the bluest Camaro I’ve ever seen.
Speaking of which, more Florida plates, this time in the 94102:
And what’s this, a brand-new LEAP bus?
Cf. this brand-new eBay bus. “Surf blue?” How about Bay Window Beige instead?
I cry foul:
Your monochromatic blues, your gold-wrapped Lambos, they all belong in the Sunshine State, non?
And the latest insult, on Van Ness?
Shouldn’t the neon pink MIAMI AD SCHOOL be in Miami and not SF?
We’re not ready for all this. Take your pinks and blues and head on home, Florida!
This was the problem a few weeks back, when Facebook buses would “stage” on Masonic by double-parking in the slow lane.
Staging means buses sitting and waiting for the next run to start. (It’s a necessary part of running a reliable “transit” system.)
But where to stage has pretty much been left out of the SFMTA’s vaunted 18-month corporate bus stop “trial” – it’s pretty much up to the drivers / on-scene dispatchers on where to park buses for breaks / waiting time. (Contrast that with when are where the buses pick up workers – that’s highly regulated now.)
Oh look, here’s some staging as it’s currently practiced, by a non-Facebook* bus:
This is Fell in the 94117. This is a great place to stage for like 15-20 minutes, cause cars have cleared out for the SFMTA’s weekly unnecessary $treet $weeping program. If the meter maids come, the driver will simply move along, plus s/he isn’t blocking any driveways. This is a great place to stage, but only on Tuesday mornings. Where do drivers stage on other days? I know not.
Here you go, a Google contractor bus chilling out by the infamous Fell Street DMV. The next day at the same time, it will be at another place:
I’ll tell you, the Teamsters** who make the buses run on time are at their wits’ end trying to find places to stage without blocking traffic or pissing off residents.
ATTENTION MEDIA: This issue is a STORY.
Anywho, the particular problem on Masonic involving FB got solved in about 30 hours last week. Due to a lengthy construction project at Fell and Masonic, the slow lane of Masonic southbound was blocked, like for months. So the Teamsters made that lane their staging place and nobody complained. But when construction ended and the lane was no longer blocked by sawhorses and whatnot, they didn’t adapt the way they should have. Only after having this issue pointed out to them did they adapt. And to their credit, the Facebook bus operators cleared out tout de suite – they’ve found other places to stage in a matter of hours and they haven’t come back.***
And here’s the result, the return of native species to the area. Here’s a #43 Masonic cruising through the #3 lane, exactly where the FB buses have been blocking MUNI and everybody else for months:
File this small issue in the RESOLVED file.
Ey yo the government is lies, son
United States of Google, Verizon
They all spies son, I’m Pisces, risin’
And you ain’t Hoover, you suck like James Dyson
Google the devil but I feel lucky
Extreme Home Make-Over couldn’t touch me
Backyards, kittens, puppies, 401k’s, libels, yuppies
Yeeah, I’m talkin’ bout wine drinkers
Bald-head men, Klux Klan swine-thinkers
*Is is a Loop Transport or a WEDRIVEU, or an SFO Airporter bus? That doesn’t matter. IRL, this particular one is a Google bus.
**Some of them aren’t Teamsters, not yet.
***I’ll tell you, I was literally in the room when issues like these came up eight freaking years ago. The corporate reps seemed to know what they were doing. Somehow, things fell apart a few years back, IDK why. Millions of dollars donated to SFGov and the relatively recent hiring of insider Rebecca Prozan seem to have fixed things. JMO.
[UPDATE: Oh, another press release has arrived – see it after the jump. I don’t know, maybe if I got hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from SFGov, I’d fall into the Reality Distortion Zone as well, who knows. In the meantime I’ll just try to make SFGov better, and I’ll leave my pompoms with the mothballs]
The news of the day:
All right, I’ll bite.
1. Just listen to yourself, Scott Wiener:
“Forward … massive … huge … forward”
Are you running for re-election 24-7?
2. So what do words mean? If I pay $9 for the privilege of riding a super-heavy bike for less than a half-hour, how is that “transit?” Let’s see here, transit, of course, is:
“…a shared passenger transport service which is available for use by the general public, as distinct from modes such as taxicab, carpooling or hired buses which are not shared by strangers without private arrangement. Public transport modes include city buses, trolleybuses, trams (or light rail) and passenger trains,rapid transit (metro/subways/undergrounds etc) and ferries. Public transport between cities is dominated by airlines, coaches, and intercity rail. High-speed rail networks are being developed in many parts of the world.
So bikes isn’t transit, d’accord? D’accord.
3. Isn’t your vaunted “Motivate” company really just Alta Bicycle Share? Don’t they have / had / will have a lot of workers’ rights / union organizing problems? Oh yes, yes they do / did / will! And yet, Scott Wiener goes after Google / Rebecca Prozan for what, what exactly? Imagine the blowback if Google or Facebook or Apple or one of its contractors started firing employees for union organizing? Well, let’s take a look at Motivate / Alta right here – and this is its side of the story. Take a look, take a look right here at your vaunted “partner.”
4. Does a “public-private partnership” imply a massive advertising deal is coming our way? Enquiring Minds Want To Know. I hope your partner’s “advertising partner” will be Coke, cause, you know, Coke Adds Life, right?
5. How often do the existing bikes get used these days? Not that much, right? And has traffic in San Francisco actually “improved” since Alta’s bike share thing came into SF? I don’t think so. I think it’s gotten worse, actually.
6. And is Scott Wiener really claiming credit for Bay Area Bike Share “oversight?” Well, how’s he doing? Not so hot, based upon its abysmal 2-star rating on Yelp, right? (And Yelp gives you one star just for showing up – like a two star restaurant won’t be in business very much longer. Of course, a fee and tax payer backed bike share program can last forever, right?) And these poor reviews don’t factor in the tens of millions of dollars the existing small program already costs us. What’s the public subsidy per ride? It’s pretty massive. And yet, people don’t seem to like it all that much. Mmmm… How many bikes could we just buy for people and give away for that same amount of money?
7. Oh, this isn’t your deal Scott Wiener? You’re simply “applauding” / patting your self on the back?
So Scott Wiener, to review, BABS isn’t transit, it isn’t very good, it’s costs us a lot of money already and the private part of your new public private partnership has a record of being quite hostile to organized labor.
Proposal announced today by the Mayors of five Bay Area cities and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission – on which Supervisor Wiener serves — will expand the regional bike share network through a public-private partnership
San Francisco – Today Supervisor Scott Wiener released the following statement after the Mayors of San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville announced a proposal to partner with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) to expand the Bay Area bike share program by entering into a public-private partnership with Motivate:
“I applaud this proposal to dramatically expand bike share in San Francisco and the Bay Area,” said Supervisor Wiener, who serves as a Commissioner on the MTC. “A robust and sustainable bike share network is a key part of being a Transit First city and will allow us to reap the benefits of bike share, including reducing traffic, improving public transit, and stimulating the local economy. I’ve been an active supporter of bike share at both the MTC and the Board of Supervisors, and I will continue to work to bring this critical transit program to more neighborhoods in San Francisco.”
Supervisor Wiener has been involved in Bay Area Bike Share for several years, including oversight hearings and workings with the MTA, MTC, and other stakeholders to ensure a full rollout of the program.
Motivate’s proposal includes expanding the number of bikes in San Francisco to 4,500, up from the current 328. The number of bikes regionally would increase to 7,000 from 700. This expansion would not be funded by public tax dollars. The MTC’s Administration Committee will consider the proposal at its next meeting on April 8th, after which it will go to the full Commission. New stations are slated to be installed starting in 2016.
[UPDATE: This sitch got fixed in about 30 hours after the first post on this tiny WordPress. The office of Supervisor London Breed handled this within an hour after being contacted.]
Get up to speed here.
And now for an update since that last post.
Here’s a 43 Masonic using the #3 southbound lane of Masonic to get from its Hayes stop to its Oak stop, with no interference from any Facebook double decker buses:
But Here Comes The Zuck, down Fell, about to turn left to double park for ten minutes or so:
With all the recent changes to our corporate bus bus routes, I thought that maybe this was a legit, SFMTA-approved staging area for the Facebook, but no, it’s still a NO STOPPING ZONE:
Oh, here’s the next stop for the #43 – this is what Zuckerberg et al is blocking:
Now it could be worse, of course, as a Teamster just told me on Friday. And I’ll concede that point. But we can’t just have FB contractors deciding on their own to double park on a bus line all the live long day.
The Teamsters, they covet a staging area in the 94117. They’ve already gotten kicked out of the other places they’ve tried. I’ve suggested the already-existing area on Fell near Alamo Square, the one that the tourist buses use. Just an idea.
Oh, here we go – sometimes the 43 needs to wait with the blinkers on, to beg drivers in lane #2 for, you know, a little help. Isn’t that sad? Anyway, our sad-sack SFMTA navigating around a company worth nine figures:
Oh what’s that, really this bus is a WEDRIVEU or a Lux or a Loop Transportation and who the fuck knows who’s inside? Yeah, right. [Sarcasm.] MPK = Facebook, non?
I’ll tell you, I don’t know who is the Facebook analog for Google’s Rebecca Prozan* in the 415. If I did, I already would have contacted him/her. As it was, I simply shot a note to London Breed’s office.
So yes, Facebook, I understand why you were able to get away with this for a while, owing to the fact that this lane was blocked already due to all the recent construction. But FB, you have no idea how much you stick out when you park on Masonic like this.
And yeah, the cops don’t care and no millionaire homeowners are around to complain at you, but this bus standing area will not stand.
*Appointed Mayor Ed Lee, who, really, is lucky to have his gig, and really, is nobody special, thinks he’s REALLY REALLY SPECIAL. So when the Googlers came to town to meet with him a few years back they’d say stuff like, oh, good idea Mr. Mayor – we’ll get back to you on that, that kind of thing. Well, our Dear Leader, who bruises easier than a Cavendish banana, hit the ceiling and ended up all sore, due to the fact that Google sent some, some underling up to Frisco, an underling who couldn’t make a deal with SFGov. Well, G learned its lesson after that – it hired Rebecca Prozan and it gave $6.8 million to the SFMTA and it did a host of other good deeds, you know, to ease the pain. Of course, G was stupid to allow its contractor drivers to make such a low hourly wage. Why? Because it invites the Teamsters to move on in, right? What G should have done was say to the bus contractors, OK, what’s your lowest bid assuming that you’re going to pay your drivers extra for split shifts and that you’re going to pay them, IDK $40 per hour, something like that. Now what’s happened is that the Teamsters are fully activated and a begrudging 20% pay bump to fight off further unionization, and more and more “work rules,” isn’t going to help, IMO. Google went hog-wild outfitting these buses, but it forgot about some pretty basic stuff. IMO. IMO, based upon observing this GBus program for the past nine years…
Here’s a FaceBook corporate shuttle bus idling(?)/waiting on busy southbound Masonic betwixt Fell and Oak during the busy morning drive afore taking FB’ers on down to (MPK) Menlo Park:
So that means that it’s blocking the slow lane of Masonic, as here on Saint Patrick’s Day 2015
At first I thought, oh maybe it broke down, but no, this is where it was waiting to pick up more people in the Upper Haight area, at the assigned MUNI stops FaceBook has. If the drivers come back to SF early, they need a place to hang out, right?
When I see this situation, there’s always the driver plus a, IDK, let’s call him a starter, a handler, a scheduler – a person who makes the trains run on time.
So I thought, mmm, this isn’t a MUNI bus stop – perhaps the FB drivers got used to this lane being blocked at Fell the past few weeks? IDK.
But look, it’s the same thing yesterday too:
So the #43 Masonic needs to merge into the middle lane from the stop at Hayes and then get back into, let’s call it the FaceBook Lane after passing the Big White Bus in order to get into the stop on the other side of Oak:
So what’s the deal here, does this guy just hang out all morning waiting for more buses to double park?
But this lane just got freed up after all that lengthy construction, so it seems a shame that MUNI drivers now can’t use it…