A private ferry service to take Google employees to and from work began on a trial basis this week between San Francisco and Redwood City, port officials with both cities said.
The five-week trial, which began Monday and runs through Feb. 7, includes two morning trips and two evening trips between San Francisco’s Ferry Building and Wharf 5 at the Port of Redwood City, port officials said.
“We were approached by a company that has been hired by Google to provide a private charter for their employees,” said Peter Dailey, maritime director for the Port of San Francisco.
According to the Port of Redwood City, that company is Multi-National Logistics Systems.
Dailey said for the first few days of the trial, “I understand they have decent crowds but they’re not at capacity” on the 149-passenger vessel.
A spokesperson for Mountain View-based Google was not immediately available to comment on the ferry service.
The program began on the same week that Google and other tech companies announced a pilot program with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee in which private commuter buses will soon be allowed to stop at certain public Municipal Railway bus stops in exchange for a fee.
Google’s manager of public policy and government affairs, Veronica Bell, joined the mayor for a news conference about the bus plan and said the company is “very excited to be working with the city.”
Bell said, “We see this pilot program as a good first step.”
The commuter buses have come under criticism from San Francisco housing advocates who have targeted them for protests, saying an influx of wealthy tech workers is leading to rising costs of living in the city.
The 18-month pilot program will be voted on by Muni’s board of directors at its Jan. 21 meeting.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News