Apple and Google are not as popular with San Francisco residents as they might think.
According to Reuters, protesters blocked buses operated by Google and Apple in San Francisco and Oakland in what is being seen as a backlash against the booming tech industry’s impact.
Protesters surrounded a corporate bus in the Mission district as it was picking up Apple employees for the morning commute. They stopped them leaving for half an hour.
Two Google buses in Oakland were also targeted by protesters on Friday morning.
One of the demonstrators said that the protest was all about how the ruling class, which is becoming the tech class, to listen to the voices of folks that are being displaced.
Protesters unfurled a banner that read “Eviction Free San Francisco” and distributed flyers titled “San Francisco: A tale of two cities”.
Buses have become a visible symbols of what some complain is the technology-driven gentrification of San Francisco, with young, well-paid tech workers forcing out poorer people.
There is a thought that city policies are too generous to the tech industry. Normally if tech industries threaten to leave the city they get a nice tax cut. Twitter was one such outfit.
The bus idea was to ease traffic on already clogged highways. The tech buses have nicer seats with wi-fi.
However the buses crowd municipal bus stops and remove potential customers from cash-strapped public transportation systems, including regional rail services.
There has been no trickle down effect from the tech industry’s success either. In fact rents in San Francisco have surged. The median rent on a two-bedroom apartment rose 10 percent over the last year to $3,250. Evictions rose 25 percent to 1,716 in the last year.