Employee Shuttle Has Been Circling San Francisco Since 2000

Residents say an old employee shuttle still drives the streets of San Francisco, seemingly at random. The driver, a mystery to all, emerges from the shuttle occasionally to buy a burrito and a Chronicle. But no one ever sees his face.
April 1, 2014, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Like a ghost of tech-boom past, the employee shuttle bus, which once drove Bay Area residents from the suburbs to the company's headquarters in San Francisco, is in constant motion on the streets of San Francisco. Residents all over the city report that the shuttle can disappear for months but is never really gone. They say the shuttle is still emblazoned with the company logo and an oversized caricature of the sock puppet—a symbol of the fallen star of the dot-com era of the early 2000s.

Employees of Google and other companies who use shuttle services for transportation from their homes in the city to corporate headquarters located on the Peninsula and the Silicon Valley report that they often sense the shuttle before they see it. Area psychiatrists report that cases of insomnia caused by anxiety have been growing at the same rate as the Bay Area economy.

“Sometime it’s almost like this symbol of past failure—taunting all the hubris and extravagance of the current boom,” reports Rich Guy, an employee of Facebook who rides a company shuttle from his Mission condo to the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park. “Other times I just wonder if the driver is lost or avoiding going home and living with his parents in Concord, or wherever people used to live,” Guy says with a laugh. 

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Published on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 in Planetizen April 1st Edition
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