Skip to content

Disability History: Seniors and Disabled People Protesting Tech Buses, San Francisco, CA

Talk about history in action. Various community organizations such as Senior and Disability Action and the Gray Panthers blocked two tech shuttle busses in the Mission district of San Francisco on August 1, 2014.

Photo of two people in wheelchairs blocking a bus in San Francisco. In the forefront of the image, a white older woman is sitting in a scooter. On the right, an older white man is in a wheelchair.

From an article in the SF Chronicle written by Kristen V. Brown and photos by Paul Chinn (8/2/14):

Tech shuttles, protesters said, create safety hazards for seniors and people with disabilities. When private shuttles use Muni stops, city buses can’t always pull over at the designated area. Sometimes, activists say, they must walk into traffic to get on the bus. Other times, the bus is forced to stop so far away they can’t catch it at all.

“We’re not just protesting the evictions,” said Alice Bierman, 40, who is legally blind and works for Senior and Disability Action. She said she often misses the bus because she can’t see where it has stopped if it’s not in its designated spot.

Mira Ingram, a Muni rider who is in a wheelchair due to a combination of neuropathy, arthritis and diabetes, said she often misses the bus because of tech shuttles. The 45-year-old said she canceled a regular morning doctor’s appointment because she missed her bus so frequently due to private shuttles. The buses, she said, block Muni drivers from getting close enough to the curb to operate the bus’ wheelchair lifts.

“Tech shuttle workers, if you’re inconvenienced, imagine if you were a 98-year-old,” one demonstrator shouted at the commuters on the buses, which were stalled for more than a half hour before police broke up the protest.

For the entire article:

Senior and Disability Action:

San Francisco Gray Panthers:

Leave a Reply