Google, the mass transit operator with biodiesel Buses and pampered employees


Google, is now a mass transit operator complete with biodiesel buses to make commuting painless for its pampered workers — and keep attracting new recruits in a notoriously competitive market for top engineering talent.

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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. Oh, and the shuttles are free.

Founders Note:
Honest Question.. what if things change.. lets say there is a recession.. and companies cut back on their marketing budgets.. perks like these are unsustainable.


Call me Cynical ...

I've been accused on more than one occasion of being a cynical bastard, but more and more this technological Utopian workplace they are creating is bordering on scary at times. It's getting way beyond the fictional 'stepford wives' and actual 'Celebration' level scary but it's starting to look way to good to be true.

College like atmosphere, free food, great benefits, on site medical, free eco-friendly car pools, happy, smart and friendly workers ... somethings just not right ... it's like there's some magical force that prevents all the bad and evil things that occur in every other workplace in the world from existing in the Googleplex ... it's not natural ...

I know a few companies that ran cool programs like this

Seriously.. there was a ton of companies that ran programs like this..

Webvan, Pets.Com, Etoys, Kozmo, Flooz

I guess 'was' is a good choice of word.

I know most people here hate

I know most people here hate google, but are you really that small in thinking to not see how this helps google? And no, webvan, etc did not run programs like this, they wasted money, this invests money in their workers - removing problems and making them more productive.


"Were" is a better word choice Founder :)


yep :) 'were' would of been better :)

long day... regardless.. investing in your workforce is a big plus.. agreed... spending money like there is no tomorrow.. well that is a differing story.

I don't see how a company, even one with the resources of Google could continue this level of spending forever... especially in a recession.

You reward your employees with a better 401k, better health insurance, better pay and what most employers forget, treat them better by noticing their good deeds.. when the guys and girls at work do a good job.. I make sure they know that I noticed they handled something well.

Paying for unlimited Sushi isn't on that list.

investing in your workforce

The Founder wrote:
investing in your workforce is a big plus.. agreed... spending money like there is no tomorrow.. well that is a differing story.

2 extra hours a day of productivity out of your employees for the cost of a bus ride? You still don't get it, there is a direct immediate benefit for google to do this - as with almost everything they offer, it directly results in a benefit for google, not a loss. So they aren't stupidly spending money, they are maximizing the productivity out of their employees. They can keep doing it because it is not a negative, but a net positive.

I find it pretty funny that

I find it pretty funny that even in this day and age people still look at employee well-being as a perk or optional extra.

In our industry alone, I know that most of the majory UK SEO agencies have faced a mass exodus of employees due to work related issues at one time or another. While they have survive these times, it doesn't mean that they were insignificant and could have just as easily destroyed the company.

Keeping the staff you have and attracting the best of the best is a key issue for large businesses IMO.


In High Tech the Gravy Just Drips Lower

Take a look at Fortune 1000 companies and you will see:
* the CEO and BoD have fabulous benefits.
* the VPs and senior managers have very nice benefits.
* the middle managers have benefits.
* the rest have whatever is mandated by law.

In high tech companies, i.e. Google, the breakdown differs because those PhDs are not easily mass replaceable. So the gravytrain drips a little lower.

However, those bus drivers and the rest of the 'support' staff are just ordinary replaceable workers getting whatever is mandated by law just like everywhere else.


doesn't everybody in mountain view get free food, on site dentist and doctors and whole bunch of other benefits? I wasn't under the impression that Tom in accounts payable, Richard in Housekeepeing, and Harriet in HR weren't eligible for all that. The only thing I thought engineers got that everyone else didn't get was 20% time

You can't very well let

You can't very well let engineers on the bus and not the secretaries can you? That would piss off the engineers ;)

>>They can keep doing it

>>They can keep doing it because it is not a negative, but a net positive.

Yes of course. Same with the canteen. I leave the building where I work because we only have junk food here. By serving decent food in a canteen layout, google ensures the staff are back at their desks in 30 mins.

It's not that unusual for

It's not that unusual for major, profitable corporations to give perks like this to vital and irreplaceable staff only the technology has changed. 30 years ago an oil company around here moved their HQ and research labs to a town 40 miles away and they provided busses for many of the lab engineers who didn't want to uproot their families. They did this for about 8 years.

I'm not a fan of Google, but I'm not willing to bust their chops on this when they are trying to do the right thing by taking cars (especially driven by engineers :) ) off the roads and burning fuel made from used McDonald's french fry oil. Maybe they will show other corporations how it can be done. Maybe they will fail, but at least they tried it out.

(Ack, I can't believe I just wrote that last paragraph. You would think I was wearing a tie-dyed Googlie t-shirt, and hugging a tree or something.)

Bus, bus, the magic bus..., or they, the buses, sound like an easy target for a disgruntled employee or a whacked out competitor.

Disgruntled Google employee? Imaging being let go by Google. Wow.


@Founder You nearly brought


You nearly brought a tear to my eye with this one word: Kozmo

Damn I miss that company. Many a bored Sunday night in San Francisco were cured by a speedy Kozmo delivery of a DVD and some Ben & Jerrys.

i'd do the same for my

i'd do the same for my people if i could.
unfortunately, they are not eager to work 16 hours a day even though they have enough to do.

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