Town Square

Post a New Topic

City's new shuttle service is a departure from the past

Original post made on Feb 7, 2023

Palo Alto's new shuttle system is almost ready to launch. Starting March 7, residents and visitors will be able to get a ride just about anywhere in town through a new service called Palo Alto Link.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, February 6, 2023, 11:23 PM

Comments (8)

Posted by felix
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2023 at 7:03 am

felix is a registered user.

This is great.
That it doesn’t have a set route but is on demand and actually takes me right where I want to go in town for a small fee is exactly what I want in a shuttle service.

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2023 at 8:10 am

Bystander is a registered user.

I would call this a very different service and in no way like the old shuttle.

How will they deal with 35, 40, 50 Paly students wanting to get to school on a wet day?

How will they deal with similar number of residents wanting to get to Stanford for a football game?

How will they deal with shoppers on Black Friday wanting to get to Walmart, Costco or Stanford SC?

How will they deal with seniors getting to medical appointments with wheelchairs and walkers, or children who need car seats?

Not saying that this is not a great idea, but the fact is that it is not the old shuttle or can do what the old shuttle did.

Posted by NeilsonBuchanan
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 7, 2023 at 8:36 am

NeilsonBuchanan is a registered user.

There is no perfect solution but this is a worthy trial program. We can support the city staff and their ability to fine tune the program as ridership grows. Let's hear more about the program not later than early next year.

Posted by Ted
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 7, 2023 at 10:28 am

Ted is a registered user.

One detail missing for the new transport service is what are the boundaries? For example, can I use the PA Link to travel to/from Santa Cruz in Menlo Park or over to the Stanford campus or??

Posted by Naphtali
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 7, 2023 at 10:54 am

Naphtali is a registered user.

What proof or ID does one have to show for a low-income $1 ride?

Posted by PaloAltoVoter
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 7, 2023 at 11:29 am

PaloAltoVoter is a registered user.

The old shuttles mostly drove around empty. That was two shuttles with 550 trips per day, running all day long - outside of commute times that means it was empty. If someone took it somewhere and then back home, that was 2 trips.
The old shuttles were not working.

$1 for a direct ride for those in need seems pretty awesome. I hope we give this a chance and its highly successful.

Posted by Consider Your Options.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2023 at 12:47 pm

Consider Your Options. is a registered user.

We'll see how it works. There's something to be said for a reliable, fixed route. You can plan on it.

Yes. It is supposed to be available on demand. However, if capacity doesn't meet demand, will it be available WHEN you want it? How long are you willing to wait?

I hope it works. I hope there will be a follow-up study of rider satisfaction. Every person who calls for service, whether they use it once or many times or not at all, should be included so that we will understand why people try it might choose to not use it or discontinue using it.

An on-demand system really needs to understand what people need to be effective.

Posted by Ann Naanemus
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 11, 2023 at 2:51 pm

Ann Naanemus is a registered user.

How PAL will fit in with my needs: On tight budget due to chronic health problem without any financial help. I'm restricted to where the Samtrans 280 bus that I can walk to and places its connections serve. It's likely I can afford this new ride service 2-3x max a week, with passes probably more expensive than the bus ones that I already can't afford. The buses don't go to Byxbee nor Arastradero parks which I love and need for therapeutic reasons but never go to due to lack of transportation. It's likely I can afford one round-trip per day so errands will have to be done on different days than trips to the park. Destinations for me will almost entirely be: Doctors appts at Stanford, Trader Joe's and Mtn View Walmart (I guess service won't cross town line and go to Menlo nor Mtn View though, I guess Shoreline is a no go too). Food for thought.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

New Palo Alto sushi spot highlights late-night hours and affordable prices
By The Peninsula Foodist | 1 comment | 8,712 views

Farm Bill and the Organic Movement (part 5) Plus: Global Plant Forward Summit, April 18 – 20
By Laura Stec | 23 comments | 4,785 views

Sharing That Just Works
By Sherry Listgarten | 5 comments | 1,763 views