SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — How’s this for an employee perk? Google workers commuting from San Francisco to the company’s Silicon Valley campus can now make part of the trek on an 83-foot, Wi-Fi-equipped catamaran.
The search engine company has launched a free ferry service from San Francisco’s ferry terminal to the Port of Redwood City about 26 miles away, where employees can hop on a private bus to work.
Named the “Triumphant,” the charter ferry can carry up to 150 passengers and runs twice each morning and evening, with voyages lasting about 47 minutes each way, according to KPIX-TV.
“They’re going to see if this is something their employees want, and if it makes economic and logistical sense,” Peter Dailey, maritime director for the Port of San Francisco, told the San Jose Mercury News.
None of Google’s competitors has announced similar ferry plans. Google will reportedly pay about $50 each time it docks its ferry in San Francisco.
The company is hoping to defuse a growing controversy. The boat service started on the same day San Francisco city officials said Google and other tech companies that use public bus stops to pick up thousands of employees on private shuttles must pay roughly $1 per stop per day as part of an 18-month pilot program.