SFMTA denies shuttle bus company in labor dispute permit to stop at Muni bus stops

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- San Francisco's transportation agency has injected itself into a labor dispute between a tech shuttle bus company and the teamsters union.

A new permit has been denied to allow Bauer's Intelligent Transportation to continue using Muni bus stops.

Eighty out of 400 drivers at Bauer's operate employee shuttles. The Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) has put up a roadblock that could leave drivers out of work and people without transportation.

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Bauer's operates shuttle buses between San Francisco and Silicon Valley to help employees get to their jobs. Many are tech workers, but clients include hospitals and smaller companies. A permit it needs to use Muni bus stops to load and unload passengers has been denied.

"We have received complaints about this company using Muni zones when they're not supposed to, using the official shuttle stops when they're not supposed to and not having permits and other complaints from residential areas," said Paul Rose a San Francisco MTA spokesman.

Bauer's is crying foul, blaming a failed attempt by some of its drivers to organize with the teamsters. The vote, taken last September, was 25 yes, 41 no.

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"We move over six million people a year. We're moving thousands of people a day," Bauer's chairman and CEO Gary Bauer said. "If this were to stop and shut down, we would have thousands of people on the curb. It'd put hundreds of drivers out of work. Our people make similar pay to what the union people make."

The permit denial is rooted in action by San Francisco supervisors that allows a permit to be revoked or denied if there is a prolonged labor dispute. Teamsters Local 853 has been successful in organizing drivers the past year in at other companies.

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Bauer says he's appealing the decision, which will allow him to continue to operate shuttle service. He says employees his buses transport are not facing a disruption.

The labor dispute between the teamsters and Bauer's is now before the National Labor Relations board after charges were filed by the union over the election.

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