Google's use of San Francisco public bus stops to shuttle employees to and from its Mountain View campus via private buses has come under fire. We can't wait to see how people react to their new private ferry service.
According to KPIX, Google has chartered the Triumphant, a 149-passenger ferry complete with wi-fi, to run two trips each morning and two return trips each evening.
The move, reportedly operating under a 30-day trial run, comes on the heels of a highly publicized protest against Google's use of private buses in December. Demonstrators blocked buses and protested against both the company's unpaid use of San Francisco city bus stops (an issue that has been rectified since the protest) and against the growing separation of wealth in the city, a symptom protesters say is aggravated by tech companies. A union organizer was even planted to act as an arrogant Google employee.
But if Google was looking to soften its image, it may have jumped from the frying pan into the fire on this one:
Must feel downright embarrassing to be a self-aware tech worker in San Francisco in 2014. http://t.co/CdnTFjnWh2
— Sam Stephenson (@sstephenson) January 9, 2014
Google’s timing is impeccable.
— William Henderson (@quicklywilliam) January 9, 2014
Google contracts catamaran ferry for employees http://t.co/Z0Xtk1MfYC (No, this is not a headline from the Onion)
— Allison Arieff (@aarieff) January 8, 2014
While the move may be more efficient and bring more money to the city, chartering a private boat will hardly help the company appear to be one of the people.
In a statement, the company said the move was simply an attempt to get employees to work without troubling the city.
“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 tech blog Re/code.
"They're going to see if this is something their employees want, and if it makes economic and logistical sense," said Dailey. "Depending on the success of the trial period, we could see other companies following suit."
Check out the Triumphant in action below: