Posts Tagged ‘tech’

Cold Busted: Facebook Buses are “Staging in a Travel Lane” in the 94117 Again – “Hayes Valley-MPK” Idling on Ashbury, Again

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

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.

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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?

IDK.

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.

Something New for 2015: Tech Bros Recording Themselves Performing Motorized Unicycle Tricks in Golden Gate Park

Monday, April 27th, 2015

As seen at 6th Avenue and Fulton, more or less, The Skatin’ Place – the serious bidness of Having Fun:

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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:

(more…)

Frisco Goes Full Florida – What are All These Miami People Doing in Town All of a Sudden? Photographic Proof!

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

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:

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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:

(Florida plates, heh.)

And what’s this, a brand-new LEAP bus?

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Cf. this brand-new eBay bus. “Surf blue?” How about Bay Window Beige instead?

I cry foul:

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Your monochromatic blues, your gold-wrapped Lambos, they all belong in the Sunshine State, non?

And the latest insult, on Van Ness?

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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!

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.

Tech Bros Use a Drone to Lasso Our Famous McKinley Statue with a Hula Hoop? Sure Looks That Way

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Of all the insults Bill McKinley has endured over the years, this has got to be the worst.

Don’t say side-boob, don’t say side-boob…

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Now if you filled the hula hoop up with something, there’s a chance that could you impart enough momentum to toss it up there.

But if this is just a regular, unaltered hoop, then a drone is prolly what these, these urban thugs used.

I am the ghost of Troubled Joe / Hoop’d by his pretty white neck / Some eighteen days ago

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And our somewhat corrupt RPD is now droneless, oh no!

I call for a General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper to loiter above the eastern portion of the GGP Panhandle, you know, an armed patrol, to show the tech bros that WE MEAN BUSINESS!

And who are the prime suspects? It’s these two, recently spotted loitering near the monument:

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And if not them, then it was this crew.

Courage.

Tech Bro on an Electric Skateboard Thinks He’s a Car, Tackles SoMA Streets

Monday, March 30th, 2015

At first I thought Brocephus was simply standing in the crosswalk, but no, he was waiting for the green in the #2 lane of 7th Street.

And off he goes, looking like an Apollo astronaut exploring the Moon:

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Forward, ever forward…

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…