SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — How's this for an employee perk? Google workers commuting from San Francisco to the company's Silicon Valley campus can now make part of the trek on an 83-foot, Wi-Fi-equipped catamaran.
"They're going to see if this is something their employees want, and if it makes economic and logistical sense," said Peter Dailey, maritime director for the Port of San Francisco, which operates the terminal used by the Google ferry and other charter services, told the San Jose Mercury News.
Google is hoping to defuse a growing controversy as the boat service started on the same day San Francisco city officials said Google and other tech companies, including Apple Inc. and Genentech Inc., that use public bus stops to pick up thousands of employees on private shuttles must pay roughly $1 per stop per day as part of an 18-month pilot program.
"I have nothing against tech workers," Sarah Sherburn-Zimmer, an organizer for the Housing Rights Committee who has been instrumental in the protests against Google's buses, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "There's nothing environmentally friendly about moving a workforce huge distances. It doesn't matter how you do it."