Foster City – Experiment #1: Identify interest in and establish a private/public commute shuttle between SF Bay coast cities Pacifica, Montara, Moss Beach, El Granada, Half Moon Bay (pop. 60K)  and San Mateo/Foster City.

Suggested method to get there (all ideas welcome)


  1. ID at least 40 people who would consider taking a commute shuttle from the coast to Foster City / San Mateo – If anyone works at a company in Foster City and would like to help collect emails ‘internal’ to your company let me know (ricknahass@yahoo.com) . I maintain two email lists Internal to the company I work for and External.  If you collect emails with your company domain you should keep it private to your company or ask for personal emails.
  2. Prepare simple requirements and request for proposal
  3. Contact private shuttle, bus companies – obtain costs, conditions
  4. Present options / costs
  5. Try it for 8 weeks – get feedback – update requirements – Iterate

Status as of 22-July-2018 Chariot Initiative

Chariot has 2 models in the SF Bay Area, (1) Public – SF Only and (2) Private – contract with your employer 1 shuttle – 1 company.

The current working proposal to Chariot was to consider a hybrid Public/Private approach where multiple companies would contract for a number of individuals (e.g., 7 employees) instead of committing to an upfront contract for 1 or 2 buses. This might provide for better economy of scale (60,000 people on the coast and 25,000 employees across all companies in Foster City) and better pricing. Employers would kick in (get tax advantage) and employees would pay a share.

Result was that Chariot requested that one company sponsor and partner with other employers. This was a non-starter for my company, because there was no evident interest from other companies. Cost was about $550 a day for 2 morning and 2 afternoon routes. This translated to about $27 per person per day round trip. That was a lot higher than the SF “Public’ model – maximum $10/day round trip. Maybe we should look for alternates to Chariot.

So… I asked my Visa, Inc transit reps, if ‘some guy’ approached them from outside Visa with the idea of identifying their coastside employees, would they be interested. The answer was NO. They would be interested only if there was interest from their own employees within their own company.  That’s where it is. It is nearly impossible to start a grassroots effort from outside a company – if anyone has ideas let me know. Another thought is that Visa has an office in San Francisco and perhaps there are more employers in San Francisco whose employees might be interested in this hybrid model where a shuttle goes from Half Moon Bay all the way to the new Transit Terminal in downtown San Francisco.  Thoughts?

An advanced city is not one where even the poor use cars, but rather one where even the rich use transit.

Enrique Peñalosa, Mayor Bogotá, Colombia