June 10th, 2014 –

SF people, you are hypocrites using services like Uber and Lyft

If you had to think what the transport systems would be on a sustainable modern city, I'm sure you would think that the solution would be a really good public transportation with buses and trains. I'm completely sure private cars or taxis would be discarted.

Then, why the democratic, environmentalist and tech people of San Francisco have suddenly become the first ones to ride on private black bars with chauffeur. Aren't those the same that think that information is meant to be shared, that we have to improve public education and health care? Why aren't they acting following their ideals? Are they becoming as hypocrites as the classic "white rich man"?

Does public transportation suck in SF?

As a disclaimer I'll say that I've lived in Madrid (Spain), Chicago and San Francisco; and I have been again 10 days in SF a few months ago visiting friends.

Public transportation in San Francisco doesn't suck. I walked and I took buses and I didn't have any problem. Of course it can be improved by removing old trolleys and having only electric-powered buses, rearranging bus lines and schedules and making sure homeless don't disturb passengers.

If you compare it to Madrid's public transportation it may suck a bit because we have one of the best systems in the world. But it works reasonable good. I have visited top cities with worse transportation.

Is public transportation in SF expensive?

Is $2.25 for a single ride expensive? Is $76 for the monthly cost of the BART and bus expensive? If you take into account what tech people earn is a ridiculous price. So price is not a problem for tech people.

Let's be serious, people are paying $12-25 for taking a Uber or Lyft when they could be paying just $2.25. Does it take longer? Yes. So much longer that you willing to pay 4-11x? I don't think so. People are wasting money.

How about transportation to Silicon Valley?

I'm going to be honest as I lived both in SF and Mountain View. The BART sucks. It's expensive, it doesn't have enough frequency, it takes too much time, it breaks a lot and then you need to take another transport to go into the city or to your company if you go south.

Private buses from tech companies are a great idea. You remove 30 cars from the roads per bus. Some people see them as the problem of the rise of cost of living in San Francisco, but in fact it's a really good solution. Thanks to that, lots of tech people don't have a car, so there is less polution in those neighbourhoods and more activity on bars, cafes and restaurants of the area.

Aren't Uber and Lyft the same as taxis?

People use them because they are comfortable, easy to use and easy to pay. And because it's cool and they can afford it. But Uber and Lyft are exactly the same as a taxi. Don't lie to yourself! The only difference is that they offer a better experience, but they polute and conggest the traffic the same as taxis.

Also, stop saying that Lyft or UberX are examples of the sharing economy. Drivers are acting like taxi drivers during the hours that are "working". Blablacar is an example of the sharing economy, Lyft and Uber aren't.

Start using public transportation

If we want to live in a walkable and clean city, we have to start acting the same way we think. And in this case is by taking public transportation. You may have to leave your home 10 min earlier, or arrive your home 20 min later; but it's a small price to pay to build the city we want to live in.

Send your complains to the SF public transportation agency, go to their public meetings but don't stop using them. Each time you take a Uber or Lyft, you are voting against public transportation.

P.S: Even if Uber uses Google Cars, public transportation will always be more efficient as a society. We need to keep removing roads and recovering big sidewalks.

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