Google Bus 1 Favorite 



Apr 1 2014


San Francisco

A group of protesters calling themselves the "Gmuni dancers" block a Google Bus from moving on 24th Street at Valencia Street on Tuesday April 1, 2014 in San Francisco, Calif.

In late 2013, San Francisco Bay Area activists with Heart of the City began protesting the use of shuttle buses by Google and other tech companies to ferry employees from their homes in San Francisco and Oakland to corporate campuses in Silicon Valley, about 40 miles away. This sparked other groups in Oakland and even Seattle to protest private tech commuter buses in their areas.

Tech shuttle supporters claim the buses help reduce pollution and traffic congestion by taking cars off the road. Fees from the program will cost companies roughly $80,000 per year, and more than $100,000 for big companies like Google. That means the city should bring in a few million dollars per year through the program.

Google defended its use of the shuttles late Tuesday night by pointing to the number of cars it keeps off the road. “We’re excited to continue working with the city of San Francisco on our shared goal of efficient transportation in the Bay Area," a company spokesperson wrote in a statement given to Mashable. "Google’s shuttles result in net annual savings of more than 20,000 metric tons of CO2. That’s like taking about 4,000 cars off the road every day."

Tech shuttle opponents claim that private buses clog up city bus routes, pose a risk to bikers, and have contributed to a rapid rate of gentrification within the city. They also claim the $1 per stop, per day charge is too small for these tech companies. Regular citizens who ride public transportation are charged $2 per ride.

Posted by missmel on