Take the Google Line To Work

Google gets hugs for its solar panels, if less so then for their giant jet, but you know they are the real thing when they do the less obvious, more expensive and really effective things. They essentially have built a private transit system of 32 buses with leather seats, wireless internet and bicycle racks. "It's the most useful Google fringe benefit," said Wiltse Carpenter, a 45-year-old software engineer. It's changed my quality of life" Riders can sign up to receive alerts on their computers and cellphones when buses run late and to top it off, they use biodiesel.

According to the Times, They pick up workers as far away as Concord, 54 miles northeast of the Googleplex, as the company's sprawling Mountain View headquarters are known, and Santa Cruz, 38 miles to the south. The system's routes cover in excess of 230 miles of freeways, more than twice the extent of the region's BART commuter train system, which has 104 miles of tracks. ::New York Times

UPDATE: This very sensible letter by Dan Savage was published in the New York Times:Here's an idea for Google: locate your offices near where people live rather than transporting them all over the San Francisco Bay area.

Most "Googlers" are young and live in San Francisco, where they can find affordable housing and enjoy an urban lifestyle. Surely Google can afford a high-rise office in downtown San Francisco.

Given the obvious need to curtail carbon dioxide emissions, enlightened companies should set an example by locating in downtown areas, where mass transit is ready and waiting.

Establishing corporate campuses in suburban communities like Mountain View, where only a handful of the richest Googlers can afford to live, and busing in thousands of urban employees, makes little sense in an environmentally challenged era.

Tags: Biodiesel | Google | San Francisco

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