Lawsuit Attacks Techie Luxury Bus System

After a string of protests has failed to put the brakes on the increasingly hated "Google Bus" network, the San Franciso Examiner reports activists are taking the city to court, along with its cushy tech friends.

The complaint—which you can read in full below—cites the California Environmental Quality Act, railing against the system of enormous, air conditioned, Wi-Fi-blasting commuter shuttles on almost scientific grounds, rather than purely moral ones:

Petitioner and Plaintiff SARA SHORTT is a concerned citizen who resides in the City and County of San Francisco, California. Ms. Shortt presented written and oral comments to the City during the administrative process on the matters being challenged in the Petition. Ms. Shortt is deeply concerned with the impacts of the Shuttle Project, including displacement of low and moderate income persons, air pollution, pedestrian and bicycle safety risks, and interference with MUNI buses. Ms. Shortt urged the City to conduct CEQA review of the Project to analyze and mitigate these impacts.

The activist groups behind the suit contend the social damages of gentrification—displacement, spiked rents, evictions—are just as real as any other environmental pollutant. Suing the city and the companies that've grown so close to it probably won't shutter the bus system completely, but an activist win could seriously disrupt it. Beginning this summer, Google buses will be permitted to use the same public transit stops they were illegally pulling into before—an injunction against the pilot program would force everyone to re-confront that illegality.

Commuter Shuttle Petition by San Francisco Examiner