Masses Transit

When I was young, I used to take the bus to school with my brothers and sister. We did it by ourselves, and we were clearly young. We got to school everyday by ourselves, and our parents didn’t have to bother with it. It taught self reliance.

It also taught us tolerance, well, taught me tolerance at least. There is something good about the bus. It’s a Petri dish of people, form all kinds of places, all with the same goal: go somewhere. There are all kinds of places people go and for various reasons, but they go. And that is the important part of the whole thing. The other important part is they are all doing it together. And people are people, so they do it in their own way, which can be difficult to other people.

This brings up another important part: learning to deal with other people. This is very different that being shuttled around by someone, mentally and physically sealed off from the rest of the world. Externally, it thickens a shell that might bring you closer to people and make you more human (for what that is worth these days) and internally removes you from that island you might be on, lost in your own goals and desires, no matter how removed they are from reality. Being on the bus snaps you back to ‘here’ by way of dealing with other people.

Say you need to sit, but there are no seats. If you are not pregnant or visibly old, then you have no more a right to a seat that anyone else. What is on the inside shouldn’t matter, and really doesn’t. That island contains nothing that would give you the right. Learning this is fundamental to understanding humanity, and without it, people become a social disease, only taking from those that can’t afford to give.

And riding private shuttles is a way of growing that disease. This growing phenomenon is the same as being shuttled around by parents, with the same mental and physical barriers. It teaches people nothing, only that they somehow have earned the right to be different, when there is nothing really different about the water or skin or chemicals that make up our physical bodies. The quality of our souls, if you believe in that, is the difference, and that can only be increased by learning to connect with other souls. Hopefully this is done in close proximity, and not through glass and metal.

POHH Pahhhhhhh, POHH Pahhhhhhh

The Empire Strikes Back is a horribly dark movie. There is no build to heroic resolution, just calamity after calamity, ending with Han Solo being frozen and taken way, Luke learning the truth about his family and then getting his hand chopped off. Quite horrible. It seems that this day was bad for the technology sector in San Francisco in the same way it was for the Rebel Alliance. Just like the evil Empire striking back, it seems the City has disrupted back.

The SFMTA has just enacted a law restricting travel on Market street between 8th and 3rd Street. No turns will be allowed onto Market Street, greatly reducing the number of vehicles in the busy Financial District of downtown. This will make it safer for everyone. Commercial vehicles will still be allowed on the street, as will taxis.

Here is where the disruption comes in; rideshare companies will not be allowed to make money using city resources. A lot of tech ‘disruption’ revolves around a few smart people identifying a legal loophole, and exploiting it (rideshares). Rideshare companies do not make their drivers pay commercial taxes or fees, but still use the road to make money. Those fees go to pay for things like infrastructure improvements, road work, police, etc. Taxis pay for their ‘office,’ but rideshare companies don’t.

The City just disrupted them. Listening to them complain about not being able to break the law while putting hundreds of cars on the street and pollution in the air without paying for the services to manage the damage they do is laughable. I hope that the City continues to rein in the baloney.