Google launches free catamaran ferry service for San Francisco staff
Google has chartered a catamaran to whisk up to 150 staff at a time from the ferry terminal in San Francisco to its Mountain View campus in Silicon Valley.
The ferry runs between the pier near to Google’s San Francisco office to Redwood City 22 miles south, from where a bus takes staff on to the company’s Mountain View headquarters. The San Jose Mercury News reports today that the 83-foot catamarans are equipped with Wi-Fi.
For some time the company has been running free buses from the city, where many of its young staff choose to live, to the main campus. These buses alleviate the need for people to drive themselves to work but also offer a way for Google to squeeze more productivity from its staff – they are also Wi-Fi enabled so as to act as an extension of the office.
The buses are seen by many residents as an icon of the rising rents and cost of living caused by the adoption of the area by high-paying technology companies.
This week it was also announced that the city would begin to charge a fee of as much as $100,000 a year per bus for the right to use public bus stops to pick-up and drop-off staff.
"We certainly don't want to cause any inconvenience to SF residents, and we're trying alternative ways to get Googlers to work," Google told Wired.