"In Silicon Valley, a region known for some of the worst traffic in the nation, Google, the Internet search engine giant and online advertising behemoth, has turned itself into Google, the mass transit operator. Its aim is to make commuting painless for its pampered workers - and keep attracting new recruits in a notoriously competitive market for top engineering talent.
And Google can get a couple of extra hours of work out of employees who would otherwise be behind the wheel of a car.
The company now ferries about 1,200 employees to and from Google daily - nearly one-fourth of its local work force - aboard 32 shuttle buses equipped with comfortable leather seats and wireless Internet access. Bicycles are allowed on exterior racks, and dogs on forward seats, or on their owners' laps if the buses run full.
Riders can sign up to receive alerts on their computers and cellphones when buses run late. They also get to burnish their green credentials, not just for ditching their cars, but because all Google shuttles run on biodiesel.
The shuttles, which carry up to 37 passengers each and display no sign suggesting they carry Googlers [...] run 132 trips every day to some 40 pickup and drop-off locations in more than a dozen cities, crisscrossing six counties in the San Francisco Bay Area and logging some 4,400 miles.
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."
Thanks to J. Hall