Agency says it must spy on buses with Apple, Google workers

File - In this June 14, 2013 file photo, a Google shuttle bus arrives at 18th and Dolores streets to pick up employees in San Francisco. A transit agency in Silicon Valley has set up six cameras in an effort to count how many buses carrying Apple, Google and other tech employees are using its roads. Officials with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority say the companies have been unwilling to share information about their shuttle buses and they are having to "spy" on them with video cameras. (Paul Chinn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

Paul Chinn

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A transit agency in Silicon Valley set up six cameras to count how many buses carrying Apple and Google and other tech employees are using its roads after the companies refused to share that information.

"The best we can do is spy on them in video cameras," Adam Burger, the transit agency's senior transportation planner, told an advisory board meeting in Cupertino this week, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday.

The agency is examining the impact of corporate bus fleets on traffic to analyze ways to improve vehicle flow on Highway 85, which traverses through Silicon Valley and is frequently jammed with traffic.

The agency said it asked companies for shuttle bus data through the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and the Bay Area Council that represent many of the tech companies but did not receive it.

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group declined to comment. Adrian Covert, the Bay Area Council's vice president of public policy, acknowledged that his organization was contacted but said he had expected "more follow-up" by the agency.

The double-decker buses are common in the San Francisco Bay Area and have become a symbol of gentrification.

The buses are popular with workers because Silicon Valley lacks convenient connections from major rail lines to corporate campuses. The campuses of Facebook and Apple are each about 4 (6.5 kilometers) miles from the closest rail station.


Information from: San Francisco Chronicle,

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