Big Tech Insider’s Guide: Silicon Valley Bus History

This also could be titled “quick intro to Silicon Valley ethics”:

  • 1617 rent-able carriages (shared ride) by order of monarch
  • 1662 fixed routes for shared ride by order of monarch
  • 1823 Stanislas Baudry’s Omnés Omnibus (for everyone)
  • 1853 Impériale omnibus (upper deck cheaper)
  • 2008 Google bus (no poor people allowed)
  • 2017 Lyft shuttle (no poor people allowed, for profit)

The last step was perfectly captured by many critics who can write better than me:

And the latest piece of truly visionary invention has come courtesy of transport company and Uber rival Lyft. The company has created what they’re calling the ‘Lyft Shuttle’, which allows users to “ride for a low, fixed fare along convenient routes with no surprise stops”. All you have to do, the company says, is “walk to the stop. Hop in. Hop out. Walk to destination”.

It’s a bus. They’ve invented the bus.

It’s not the first time a disruptive ride-sharing app has accidentally invented the bus, either. Uber has also been guilty of the same thing.

Despite the fact that THIS IS VERY OBVIOUSLY JUST A FUCKING BUS AND EVERYBODY KNOWS HOW BUSES WORK, some Twitter users have found the whole concept kind of difficult to get their heads around.

But hey, maybe we’re being too harsh on Lyft. Yes, they may have just invented the bus, the first example of which was created in 1823, but their version has loads of disruptive new elements. Case in point:

Lyft Shuttle: buses without the poor people. What an innovation.

I made some jokes about this in my KiwiconX presentation, all from personal experience hacking the Silicon Valley bus systems, and I wrote up the curious history of the apartheid “lift system“, but nothing as funny as the above.

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