Why 'Google Buses' Are Bad for Cities

Tech buses deployed by companies like Google and Apple bring the benefit of more collective transportation. But there's an underlying dark side to these services that must be discussed.
February 26, 2014, 10am PST | NicoleFerraro
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"There has been a lot in the news lately about tech buses that ferry employees from their homes in California cities like San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley to suburban tech campuses, mainly in the South Bay. The companies argue that these collective transportation systems keep cars off roads and highways. Detractors see them as a private usurpation of public space. In other words, as if raising the rents in formerly affordable districts was not enough, the tech companies are now taking the streets away, too," writes Projjal Dutta, Director of Sustainability for New York's MTA.

"The dark cloud rolls in from the companies for which these people work. With very few honorable exceptions like Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, who recently moved his company headquarters from suburban Henderson to downtown Las Vegas, tech companies seem not to have gotten the memo that suburbs are old and bad news. Unlike Hsieh, the leaders of the tech world have chosen to invest vast sums of money in campuses far away from restaurants, grocery stores, and theaters. More important, these campuses are also far away from viable public-transportation. This could be deliberate."

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Published on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 in Future Cities
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