Regulating Chariot to Protect Public Transit

Tomorrow, October 17, the SFMTA Board will hopefully take up regulating jitney service in the City, the only current instance of which is Chariot. (The technical term is now Private Transit Vehicles, or PTVs. They are defined by having set routes and schedules.)

We’re glad they’re working on regulating Chariot, which has been something of a bad actor since its inception — double parking, taking up high-demand spaces between runs, using bus stops, and stopping in crosswalks.

Besides poor civic behavior, services like Chariot concern us because they detract from building the public transit system that truly serves all San Franciscans. We don’t want a public transit system of leftovers — poorly funded service that is the last resort for people who have no other choice. We want a truly transit first city, where we put the investment into a public transit system that is fast, efficient, and affordable; that is the first choice for the majority of people in our city.

You can see what we wrote to the SFMTA Board. Our main argument is that they should not only regulate new lines- existing lines also need review and permitting. Some existing lines don’t complement Muni (the stated intent of PTVs) but rather they duplicate popular lines at popular times, cannibalizing routes that Muni has made significant investments in.

If you’d like to provide feedback on the regulation:

Editor’s note: the title was edited from its original “Regulating Chariot to Save Public Transit,” because it came across more sensationally than intended.