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Google's Trial Ferry Service From Harbor Bay Ends Today

The fate of ferry commute program for Google employees is unclear.

Patch photo archive
Patch photo archive
By Bay City News—

Google employees who have been commuting by ferry to and from Silicon Valley will take their last ride on the water today when two pilot programs come to an indefinite end.

A five-day pilot program arranged with the Water Emergency Transportation Authority that started Monday has been offering ferry rides from Harbor Bay in Alameda to Redwood City for Google employees who work in Mountain View, according to the authority, which runs the San Francisco Bay Ferry.

That ferry program is in addition to a 30-day pilot program that started Jan. 6 with rides between San Francisco and Redwood City for Google employees.

[Related article: Google Launches Trial Ferry Service Between Harbor Bay, Redwood City]

Both of those programs, which are free for employees, are scheduled to end today.

A Google shuttle in Redwood City has been connecting employees to the Mountain View campus.

WETA executive director Nina Rannells said at a board meeting Thursday that she would be meeting with Google officials next week to hear about the ferry experience and find out if Google plans to continue with a ferry program in the future.

She said it is not certain if the Google ferries will continue to run but that the authority is "very interested in the opportunity."

A Google spokeswoman said the ferry trials were an effort to get employees to work in new ways aside from controversial private buses chartered by the company.

Google officials will evaluate the trial programs and decide if the ferries should become a permanent option.

Under an agreement with WETA for the pilot programs, Google is paying WETA $275 per ferry landing and renting private chartered boats to carry the passengers.

The ferry service was arranged to not interfere with regular ferry routes and schedules for the public, Rannells said.

Google riders are also not allowed to park in the Harbor Bay ferry parking lot or on nearby streets, Rannells said.

Google has provided a designated lot where employees are instructed to park and a Google shuttle brings riders to the ferry dock, according to Rannells.
phastingsesq February 09, 2014 at 01:48 AM
Whatever they may have done to ensure that parking isn't a problem, the traffic certainly is. All this week, my morning commute has been hideous. I usually make it from South Shore to Oakland City Center in 15 minutes, especially if I get to tube before 8am. This week there have been blocks-long backups at 8th and Central and all along Webster approaching the tube.
Nancy Brandt February 09, 2014 at 10:08 AM
How would Google's ferry program possibly have caused this?

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