Bay Area 'tech' shuttle services growing, study says

Posted on September 15, 2016

Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Commission
Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Commission
Public and private shuttle services around the Bay Area carried more passengers in the 2014-15 fiscal year than all but six of the region’s public transit agencies, according to the 2016 Bay Area Shuttle Census, released this month by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Bay Area Council.

Produced through a year-long effort by MTC and the San Francisco-based business group, the 2016 Shuttle Census marks the first comprehensive assessment of the region’s varied shuttle resources ever conducted; and includes three years (2012-14) of origin and destination information, as well as data on capacity, ridership, fleet size and service mileage reported by 35 shuttle sponsors and operators, including Apple, Google, Salesforce, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and many others. During this time, the number of shuttle vehicles on Bay Area roadways jumped by more than 60 percent and ridership increased by 45 percent.

“Shuttles have become a much more important piece of the Bay Area transportation puzzle in the last five years,” observed MTC Chair and Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese. “We expect to update the Shuttle Census regularly; and we expect it to not only shape MTC’s regional planning work but also to help local governments, transit agencies and even Caltrans adapt to and accommodate shuttle services’ operations and their growth.”

Regionwide, the number of shuttle vehicles grew to 765 in 2014 from 473 in 2012, with total daily capacity soaring to 34,000 from 18,000 and aggregate annual boardings rising to 9.6 million from 6.6 million. This makes shuttles’ annual ridership larger than any Bay Area transit agency except Muni, BART, AC Transit, VTA, Caltrain or SamTrans.

Graphic: Metropolitan Transportation Commission
Graphic: Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Silicon Valley has emerged as the heart of the Bay Area shuttle market; with the lion’s share of regional service linking Santa Clara County with San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties. Other major shuttle corridors connect San Mateo County with San Francisco and the East Bay. Top intra-county shuttle markets include Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco and Alameda counties. The complete 2016 Bay Area Shuttle Census — including a full list of participating shuttle sponsors and operators — may be accessed online via this link.

MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. The Bay Area Council is a public policy advocacy organization sponsored by businesses throughout the region.

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