Say what you will about the private shuttles in San Francisco — you either love them for easing congestion or you hate them for thousands of other reasons — but there’s something nobody can deny: they’re not doing any favours to San Francisco’s streets.
An analysis by the Department of Public Work’s Infrastructure Design and Construction Division found that a shuttle bus puts 7,774 times more stress on pavement than a typical SUV. And, according to the report, the damage done by a large shuttle bus on a hypothetical one-mile lane is equivalent to 4,700 passenger vehicles driving over the same lane:
… Every time a large shuttle bus drives over this hypothetical lane mile, the impact on the pavement accounts for $US1.08 out of the $US1,045,000 it will ultimately cost to reconstruct the lane. In comparison, the cost impact that a typical passenger vehicle has on the lifetime of pavement is $US0.00023 every time it drives on the same hypothetical one-mile long lane mile.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is set to vote today on an environmental appeal against the pilot program that allows the private shuttle buses to use public bus stops for $US1.06 per stop.
But, according to the report:
Although large, private shuttles impose significantly more damage to the roads than passenger vehicles, SFMTA is precluded from charging a fee for the proportional cost of such damage pursuant to Section 9400.8 of the California Vehicle Code, which restricts the ability of a local jurisdiction to impose a tax, permit or fee for use of City streets.