Google’s green transpo cred

Google’s Transportation Operations Manager, Brendon Harrington, says about 40% of Googleplex employees in Mountain View, CA get to work via modes other than driving in this video in which he brags about Google’s alternative transportation programs.

Googler in distress

Some highlights and observations:

  • Google’s transportation program is admirable, but be aware there’s also a PR agenda and local politics involved. Google wants to expand their campus tremendously with greenfield development. They’re getting pushback from some Mountain View residents who are concerned about the environment and traffic impacts of this expansion.
  • Many larger Bay Area employers have their own employee shuttle programs, though most collect employees from nearby transit centers. My employer (Oracle), for example, runs several daily shuttles to and from Santa Clara Caltrain and from the Great American Amtrak station for the Santa Clara campus where I work.

    Besides Google, Apple and Genentech also run their own private bus fleets. Apple does it because they’re in a transit desert in Cupertino. Google does it to get more productivity from their workers with their impressive onboard work spaces.

  • The free campus bikes are old news (and I occasionally see these Google bikes several miles from Mountain View), but the electric car share is clever. I didn’t know about that program.
  • Brendon mentions people who bike in from San Francisco. You can find the the SF commuters here and even ride with them if you want. Sometimes you might even ride with Sergey Brin, who’s an avid cyclist. When I worked in Menlo Park I’d frequently see them at Bayshore. I’d wave when we passed, and they studiously ignore me, unless Murph happened to be with them. Jerks.
  • Brendon also mentions Santa Cruz commuters. I know one of them, but we’ve never managed to actually ride over the hill together because of schedule differences.

More also at Google Blog: Taking cars off the road with your transportation program.

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