Rolling Blunder: Misdirected Rage Over Tech Buses Boils Over

This month, the Internet got bent out of shape shortly after one of the city's ubiquitous private buses rear-ended a historic trolley.

At last, crowed online observers, a tangible allegory for the state of a city in flux: Moneyed, entitled techies bobbing their heads to “Blurred Lines” in their earbuds blithely crushing every vestige of the city establishment.

It's a hell of an allegory. But, in reality, the passengers on that bus couldn't have been further from rich techies. When one scours the accident report, the bus's operating agency is listed as “SFO Airporter, Inc.” This is the legal name of South City's Compass Transportation. Company safety manager Gil Windley reveals that the bus was actually carrying Amtrak passengers. They were to be dropped off at Emeryville and, he believes, boarded at Pier 39.

That likely makes them rail tourists. Say what you will about rail tourists, but, unlike the tech sector, city politicos aren't beholden to them and no one is offering up tax breaks. This is neither an allegory nor a man-bites-dog story nor even a dog-bites-man story. It's more of a dog-bites-dog affair.

But the Internet has had its way with it. And, to crib the caption of a New Yorker cartoon featuring a canine surfing the web, “On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog.”

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