Buses and their service charter: Need to expand definition of what they do

Kayaks in the mist, off shore from Pillar Point, this is the area called Mavericks.
. They are waiting for waves to ride.

Here is the code where the statement of business purpose needs to be edited to re-direct the Transit District. 

The present law authorizes the public transit system to do only the simplest kind of transportation.


SECTION 103010-103022

103010. Unless the context otherwise requires, the provisions of this chapter govern the construction of this part.

103011. "District" means the San Mateo County Transit District. 

103012. "Transit" or "transit service" means the transportation of passengers and their incidental baggage and parcels by any means.

Here is a first draft at how the public transit organization charter should be extended.

We define extended transit service to include the following public service and values:

  • The transit service may include the transportation of carts and containers in addition to passengers.
  • The transit service may support and facilitate extended communications for users and clients of the transit service.
  • The transit service may operate a communications network or access framework to support extended transit service communications. 
  • The transit service may operate vehicles that are partly or completely autonomous.
  • The transit service shall predict, test and evaluate it's vehicles, system and social impact in terms of the energy used by it's vehicles, and system and in terms of the carbon dioxide emitted and emissions avoided. 
  • The transit service shall endeavor to minimize CO2 emissions.

Buses and fair competition: Need to allow Bus Systems to offer "sales below cost"

Here is one part of the California state law that prevents the public bus from competing with private bus services. 
California Business and Professions Code 
17043. It is unlawful for any person engaged in business within this State to sell any article or product at less than the cost thereof to such vendor, or to give away any article or product, for the purpose of injuring competitors or destroying competition.

17050. The prohibitions of this chapter against locality discriminations, sales below cost, and loss leaders do not apply to any sale made:
(a) In closing out in good faith the owner's stock or any part thereof for the purpose of discontinuing his trade in any such article or product and in the case of the sale of seasonal goods or to the bona fide sale of perishable goods to prevent loss to the vendor by spoilage or depreciation; provided, notice is given to the public thereof.
(b) When the goods are damaged or deteriorated in quality, and notice is given to the public thereof.
(c) By an officer acting under the orders of any court.
(d) In an endeavor made in good faith to meet the legal prices of a competitor selling the same article or product, in the same locality or trade area and in the ordinary channels of trade.
(e) In an endeavor made in good faith by a manufacturer, selling an article or product of his own manufacture, in a transaction and sale to a wholesaler or retailer for resale to meet the legal prices of a competitor selling the same or a similar or comparable article or product, in the same locality or trade area and in the ordinary channels of trade. The notice required to be given under this section shall not be sufficient unless the subject of such sales is kept separate from other stocks and clearly and legibly marked with the reason for such sales, and any advertisement of such goods must indicate the same facts and the number of items to be sold.

Review: Whole Earth Discipline by Stewart Brand

Review of
Whole Earth Discipline An Eco-pragmatist Manifesto  
by Stewart Brand,
the founder and editor of The Whole Earth Catalog,
published by Viking, copyright 2009.

  Whole Earth Discipline advocates the best course for the world to decrease CO2 levels and minimize the human contribution to global warming  is development of cities, nuclear power and genetic engineering.

     Whole Earth Discipline earns it's appositive "Manifesto" because it argues for a dramatic departure from some of the social or cultural norms that have developed over the last 50 years.

     The book is largely a dramatic disagreement with the following statements, that I offer as cultural beliefs: "small farms are best", "big farms raising huge crops with genetically engineered seed with very few workers are bad", "cities are crummy places", "nuclear power is worse than coal power", "genetic engineering makes frankenfood" and "organic food and organic farming are best".

     In relationship with this blog Put Carts on the Public Bus, the book Whole Earth Discipline does not engage with the automobile culture or transportation in cities.

Here is a WikiPedia summary of Whole Earth Discipline

  How does Whole Earth Discipline compare and contrast with the physicist's energy and CO2 analysis Without Hot Air that I reviewed a few months ago?

Link to Without Hot Air, energy and CO2 analysis

  • Whole Earth Discipline (WED) addresses cultural values and argues for changing them.
  •  WED has a lot of dialog and attempts at describing in a gentlemanly way the sometimes dramatic and painful differences in values between Mr. Brand and a number of Environmental and Political groups.
  • WED doesn;t get into the engineering details of nuclear power, cities or  farms.
  • WED does not have the complete book available online. The WikiPedia entry is an overview of the book.
  • Without Hot Air (WHA)addresses energy consumption and proposes reductions.
  • WHA has the book available online. 


Need to study California State anti-trust law - Free service strategy

Sunflower leaf showing the branching pattern of the transport pathway structure. 

"State governments engaging in governmental functions cannot violate federal antitrust law."

"Thus, one special aspect of the immunity for state action is that states can effectively fashion their own exemptions from federal antitrust law..." 


Came across a very interesting Wired Magazine article about the rise of "free"as an Internet marketing strategy and business structure.

You can look at marketing "carts on the public bus" in two ways:

One approach is to say buses need anti-trust or anti-competitive practices exemption to deal with the conventional claim that carts on the bus "steal business from other carriers because the service is offered below cost"

An alternate approach is to explore making "carts on the public bus" somehow "free". 

"Free" type marketing depends on a subtle shift between what is free, what is sold and who is the buyer.

For freight carts, the thing sold might be the connecting taxi, connecting jitney, connecting delivery service, the grocery service that fills a shipping container and dispatches it to the customer via the bus system and the connecting delivery robot.

Here is the URL to the wired article:



One of the problems that must be solved in order to draft an approach to seeking a anti-trust exemption or to develop a "free" service is there needs to be a compelling statement of the public purpose being served.