Private Bus and Shuttle Operations

At their meeting on July 30, the City Council heard an informational update on current regulations governing private charter vehicles and tour operations within Mill Valley City limits.

Council received a presentation by Interim Police Chief Jacqueline Graf-Reis, regarding our rules and practices. She stated that there are currently no tour operators in Mill Valley, and she detailed the procedures required if a business wanted to conduct tours in Mill Valley, which include obtaining a business license, and following all City regulations regarding permissible travel routes and parking restrictions.

Chief Graf-Reis said that there are private chartered vehicles of varying sizes and designs that deliver participants to and from scheduled events, such as weddings, festivals, special events, and scheduled dining events. These private transportation services are frequently a part of a special event and are coordinated through the City in order to mitigate parking and traffic impacts.

Tour buses headed to and from Muir Woods are regulated by the County of Marin, whose regulations restrict travel to the route comprised of Shoreline Highway, Panoramic Highway, Muir Woods Road, and Franks Valley Road.

City Council received public input and agreed that our current regulatory structure is adequate, but would benefit from greater specificity for charter vehicles and tour operations. Council members requested that staff work with the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce to develop a “Good Neighbor” or Best Management Practices handout to inform future private transportation operators of areas of concern and to highlight our policies and expected behavior. Also, the identification of a preferred site(s) for short-term bus and shuttle parking and posting of the commercial vehicle route map to the City’s website was requested.

A status report and any recommendations for further action was requested within six months.

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