When we think of Silicon Valley, we tend to imagine a world of extreme wealth and limitless opportunity. What we forget are the populations that have been displaced or neglected by the recent tech boom. Rising property prices in the area have created unsustainable living costs, especially for the poor. At the same time, Silicon Valley lacks sufficient affordable housing and homeless shelters.
This video shows scenes from an overnight public bus that has become popular with the region’s homeless. (According to a report last year from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, 75 percent of the more than 7,500 homeless people in the Silicon Valley area are not in shelters, the highest rate among the nation’s major cities.)
Line 22 is a bus route that runs 24 hours in Silicon Valley, shuttling between San Jose and Palo Alto. The homeless pay the fare to ride the bus at night along its hour-and-a-half route, getting off at each end, and often riding several times back and forth. The practice has gone on for years, and the bus is known colloquially as “Hotel 22.”