Posts Tagged ‘google’

The Dueling Flyers of BLOCK THE TECH COMMUTE 2015 – Teamster Drivers Fighting Back – May Day, Friday May 1st

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Well here you go, it’s BLOCK THE TECH COMMUNTE via IndyBay.

But read on to see the reply from the Teamsters.

On It Goes…

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AN OPEN LETTER TO “BLOCK THE TECH COMMUTE”

We are shuttle bus drivers for bus companies who have contracts with Facebook, Apple, Google, eBay, and more. We are mostly people of color. We live in communities such as East and West Oakland and Bayview/Hunter Point. We share your concerns about gentrification. The Bay Area’s skyrocketing rents and housing prices have pushed many of us out to Antioch, Pittsburg, Tracy, Manteca, and even farther.

Your efforts are hurting us, not helping. We are on the front lines of fighting income inequality in the high tech industry by organizing with the Teamsters union. In the last few months, over 225 of us at two shuttle bus companies won union elections. Those of us who drive for Facebook just won a union contract that includes $9/hour average wage increases, fully paid company health care, 5 weeks paid vacation, sick days, a pension, and higher pay for those of us who work split shifts.

In March, you attacked a Loop Transportation/Facebook bus that one of us was driving at MacArthur BART. You attacked a union bus driver for a good employer who pays good wages and benefits. That did not help our cause – it hurt it.

We call on you to join our efforts to hold high tech accountable to workers. If you want to make the economy work for struggling Bay Area families, then help the other drivers organize a union with us. Help push for affordable housing. But please don’t stop our buses.

May Day is for workers. Respect the shuttle bus workers this May Day.

Word on the Street: “EVICT GOOGLE”

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Oh, two words, actually:

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Bracing for May Day* 2015:

BLOCK THE TECH COMMUTE, etc

*Which is actually not a good day of the week to protest, since buses normally full Tuesday-Thursday are much less full on Fridays, not to go full Trotskyite on you, Comrades. I’m only just saying, Comrades.

Here’s How the SFMTA’s COMMUTER SHUTTLE PILOT is Going – Corinthian IPS “Staging” in a Bus Stop – Leather vs. Pleather

Monday, April 27th, 2015

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):

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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:

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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:

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When an MSM Reporter “Stalks” You at Your Favorite Corporate Bus Stop, Feel Free to Photograph Him Right Back

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Here you go, it’s a photo from area reporter/producer Sam Harnett, as he was laboring for KQED en la Mision:

Wary Employers, Stigma Have Some Tech Workers Keeping Low Profile

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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.

Can you?

So Sure, the SFMTA Regulates Corporate Buses, But What About the “Staging” Problem – Where Should They Park in SF When Idling?

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

A Few of the Problems With Scott Wiener’s Announcement of a Massive Increase in Bay Area Bike Share (BABS)

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

[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:

We’re moving forward w massive expansion of in , 4 other cities. Huge step forward 4 :

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.

Oh well.

SUPERVISOR WIENER’S STATEMENT APPLAUDING NEW PROPOSAL TO EXPAND BAY AREA BIKE SHARE

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.

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Does San Francisco Really Have a “French Quarter?” Not Really, Despite What Microsoft Says

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Well, here it is, from the Bing Maps:

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(IDK, this is less offensive than “Uptown Tenderloin,” one supposes, you know, coming from San Francisco’s non-profit profiteers.)

French Quarter sounds a bit, grandiose?

Here’s the cure, as usual, from wilds of the Internet:

Ha. No one here knows by that name. There’s not a distinct boundary for the collection of French-serving restaurants and businesses near the French Consulate, the church and school of Notre Dame des Victoires on Bush Street. But apparently it’s been dubbed by some hotel marketing person as the “French Quarter.” Belden Alley and Claude Alley intersect with Bush Street, and each have some French cafes. On Bush/Grant Ave. is the Cafe de la Presse — a coffee house with French and international newspapers, and restaurant. There’s Cafe Claude on Claude and some other bistros. Plouf! is an excellent mussel house on Belden…”

All right, keep on Binging, Microsoft.

UPDATE: Facebook is Routinely Double-Parking Its Buses on Busy, Busy Masonic Avenue’s “NO STOPPING” Zone

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

[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:

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But Here Comes The Zuck, down Fell, about to turn left to double park for ten minutes or so:

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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:

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Oh, here’s the next stop for the #43 – this is what Zuckerberg et al is blocking:

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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:

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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.

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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…

How the “Walk For Life” Anti-Abortion People Used Reuters to Exaggerate the Number of Participants

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Here’s your search:

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And here’s the kicker, in super small type:

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Oh, so it’s a press release.

OK.

What the Walk for Life people are really touchy about are crowd estimates. At the beginning, they’d have realistic crowd estimates, then a few years later, they started exaggerating. I don’t know if they’re still doing that. Maybe I’ll check next year.

Anyway, this kind of press release on Reuters is one way to promote yourself and your movement via the M$M.

Help Break the SFMTA’s Secret Shuttle Bus Code: Send in Your Photos of the ID Numbers You See on All Those Buses

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

This older post from Nitasha Tiku of ValleyWag might be a bit out of date, as I know some of the codes listed there don’t match what I’ve been seeing IRL.

This is what I’m talking about here:

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So, “Loop Transportation Inc” uses SFMTA code “07” – are there other names for this outfit? I know not. Anyway, they have at least 74 vehicles, one assumes (based upon observations).

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Here’s the list:

1. Bauer’s IT
2. Sunset Development/Bishop Ranch
3. Black Tie Transportation
4. WeDriveU
5. SFO Airporter
6. Royal Coach Tours
7. Lux Leasing
8. Storer Coachways
9. MV Transportation
10. LOOP Transportation
11. Corinthian

So if you see a bus that has a different code than what you see here, take a photo and send it in to the email address you see on the top of this blog. Or really, I don’t need a photo, I just need to know the Pilot Program ID number and then the “Operated By” info on the side of the ride.

Then I’ll look into things and then post an updated list complete with the highest bus number observed and then I’ll post it for tout le monde to see. (I don’t know why the SFMTA considers this info so supr secrt but it does.)

And of course, if you have some big beef against some bus, what you’re supposed to do is call 311 and then tell them the five-digit code so they can take action, if necessary. That’s the system, baby.