SFCED | San Francisco Center for Economic Development

Clusters of Affluence in San Francisco

The map below explores the relationship between private shuttle stop locations and indicators of neighborhood affluence. Private commuter shuttles are used by many large tech companies based in the South Bay. To explore the map:


Which came first, the Google bus stop, the two-bedroom apartment for $10,500 a month, or the new place that sells organic fruit juice and nut milk for $12 per serving?

All of the above exist on Valencia Street within blocks of each other, and a freelance journalist living half a world away has shown that they have interesting connections.

Chris Walker, 29, lives in Mumbai, India, with his girlfriend, who works in international development. He recently used San Francisco city government’s open data programs to map the bus stops of those controversial private shuttles that carry tech workers to their offices on the Peninsula and in Silicon Valley.

He also mapped the restaurants, cafes and bars that took out business licenses from 2011 to 2013. And he compared the city’s property assessment rolls from 2011 and 2013 and mapped where properties appreciated the most in that period. Surprise, surprise – they’re all grouped together in what Walker has dubbed “clusters of affluence.”

“San Francisco has always been a really expensive place to live, but I wanted to see if these neighborhoods had become even more gentrified and affluent with the arrival of all these tech workers who commute to the South Bay,” said Walker. “Broadly, I think the data does show that.”

Read more: San Francisco Chronicle Where tech buses roam, affluence follows