What are these giant busses in the Castro?

Apple / Google shuttle bus riders waiting – photo via Stephen Vincent

Have you ever wondered what those people standing outside Dolores Park Cafe at 18th and Dolores in the morning are waiting for? Turns out they’re waiting for the bus! But not a Muni bus. These folks have employers who provide free transit from San Francisco to Silicon Valley every weekday.

Apple shuttle at 18th and Castro – photo by Bill Sywak

The 18th and Dolores stop is just one of a couple of stops in the Castro area and one of several dozen throughout the city that tech giants such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, and Electronic Arts charter as a perk to their employees.  Each WiFi equipped bus makes a stop into the Castro area (save EA) and combined transport roughly 7,500 people each day. Stamen Design, the firm that tracked down the bus routes and created the infographic, noted that number is about a third as many commuters that CalTrain transports.

According to tipsters, the gray colored busses are Apple busses (reminiscent of their aluminum clad product line, dontcha think?) and the Google buses are white and have a bike rack on the back. The Noe Valley Blog noted that the busses have crammed their way into streets they “shouldn’t” and SFist reported that they’ve even gotten stuck before. Even with these hiccups they still get 7,500 people off the roads and public transit everyday, which is a benefit to all commuters.

Silicon Valley Shuttle Map

Roy McKenzie

Roy has been a Castro resident since 2010 and is passionate about drag queens, bicycling, and food. Follow his babbling on Twitter.

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