Tuesday, March 18, 2014
San Francisco to Tax ‘Google Buses’
San Francisco will tax the “Google buses,” a little bit, anyway.
The luxury buses cruise the sometimes cozy streets of San Francisco’s neighborhoods, picking up and dropping off commuting techies. They’ve become symbols of the growing resentment around gentrification and rising rents in the Bay Area. Many companies in Silicon Valley to the south pay for the bus service, but the derisive nickname “Google buses” has stuck.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announced an 18-month pilot program Monday to charge the shuttle companies fees based on the number of stops they make in city bus zones. The shuttle companies would be charged $1 per stop, which the mayor’s office estimates will bring in approximately $1.6 million in total revenue for the entire pilot. That total is intentionally limited: State law limits such fees to the cost of providing a service or policy. So all of the fees will go into policing the program.
The city and Silicon Valley companies including...