Apple, Google add 45 minutes to commuter-bus run to avoid 280 highway, where the buses' windows keep getting smashed


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/21/unarocker.html


Urbane Urbanism
#2

So is the 20:18 showing of Children of Men ?

Or did I step into Mad Max Beyond the Metreon ?


#3

As long as these buses aren’t using public transit infrastructure (esp. lanes reserved for municipal buses) I’m fine with them being used to both take additional cars off the road and serve as hated symbols of inequality. That the techbros now have an extra 45 minutes added to their commute is a bonus.*

[* to be clear, this is not an endorsement on my part of smashing the windows of vehicles on highways. I’m sure there are methods of making the commute longer that don’t involve endangering peoples’ lives]


#4

45 minutes longer commute to serve your Corp. Masters? That’s roughly another 200 hours sucked out’a your life per year. Enjoy…


#5

Silicon Valley - where the rich ride in busses and the poor drive cars.


#6

I get the anger over the buses using public bus stops, but it is really weird to think that riding a bus (even a private one) is a hated symbol of inequality. It was easier in the 1980s-1990s when rich Yuppies flaunted their wealth by driving Mercedes and BMWs.


#7

Lets take a bunch of our valuable eggs and put them all in one easy to target basket!


#8

Once those buses become “self-driving” and hackable by disgruntled peons, they will probably never reach their destination, or stop until they run out of charge. Self-driving, solar-powered buses will probably be a death sentence for the employees, as someone sends them off on a grand tour of America without a rest break.


#9

“They are seen as a symbol of big tech’s program of starving public spending that benefits everyone and
replacing it with private services that benefit only them.”

Damn right! Tech giants would do far better to stand up for public transportations instead of teaching their employees that they’re better than the crowd. Sadly, that’s not how the singularity-driven Randian ideology current in the 'Valley works.


#10

We definitely live in strange times. The perceived inequality, I gather, is the contrast between having an employer wealthy enough to send a clean recent-model Wifi-enabled bus stocked with snacks and soft drinks to pick up its employees versus having a (still wealthy) employer that expects its workers to either spend their own money on gas to power their own rolling depreciating asset to and from the office or on buying monthly fare on a much grungier bus and/or BART commute. If I had to deal with miserable Bay Area traffic I know which option I’d prefer.

In all ways, because Google or Apple would insist that the captive employees break out their laptops, connect to the office intranet via the bus’s Wifi, and get to work during the daylight hours of their endless journey.


#11

One has to wonder how well these companies plan if they locate away from public transportation.

Direct access to rail, bus, subway is at least part of Amazon’s requirements for its new 2nd headquarters.


#12

I feel so sad to hear the BART is a mess. I remember watching a documentary on it decades ago that was so full of optimism and promise. I’m assuming that under-investment happened?

(Edited to change “years” to “decades”. Gawd, I’m so old)


#13

From what I understand, in the Bay Area a lot of it is due to strict zoning that’s beyond the companies’ control, although the companies aren’t rushing to fund new public transit spurs to the campuses, either. For most tech companies, the attitude toward employee housing stock in close proximity to the office is either “you’re on your own, the market will handle it” or “if we could we’d shove you in on-campus dormitories so you could live in our glorious company town,” with nothing in between.

Amazon learned its lesson the hard way in what is now the commuter hell of Seattle. However, since it’s looking to use existing public transit infrastructure (probably while reaping local tax breaks rather than contributing to it) the improvement in regard to its HQ2 is only a slight one. The requirement is a positive one insofar as other cities that want to participate in similar beauty contests (Apple’s is up next) now understand they need to up their public transit game if they want a chance at winning a bid.


#14

Yay!
Google bus hoedown!


#15

Far be it from me to suggest that the major employers in the area (if not the country) could possibly effect some local zoning laws or public policy regarding transportation.

It must be tough being the smartest guys in the room but not getting things done because you can’t bring about a disruption of your own preconceptions.


#16

Lots of short sighted NIMBY happened.


#17

I was thinking more Raft of the Medusa :wink:

“Personal log, Day 3: The Senior Programmers have finished the last Interns. It can’t be long before they turn on the rest of us. If that happens, I plan to pop the emergency exit and jump on to the bus that has been paralleling us for the past two days. Hopefully, it isn’t an Apple Bus. According to twitter, those guys got it worse than we did. Zombie Plague.”


#18

What is it about the stories that @doctorow posts that requires the titles to be so difficult to read? Is it me? I generally have to read the titles 4 or 5 times to process them.

It’s probably me…


#19

Public transit infrastructure is crumbling and underfunded everywhere these days, unfortunately. The Washington Metro has all sorts of problems these days as I can personally attest, and from newspaper articles, the NYC subway and Boston T aren’t doing that much better either.


#20

The Bay Area is a big and sprawling area with several counties that are competing and conflicting with one another with numerous competing and largely non-overlapping transit agencies.

Silicon Valley is kind of a shitty place to live so many people prefer to live in SF (if they can afford it) or are forced to live in far flung East Bay locales because they are priced out of living near where they work.

When I lived in Alameda and worked in Mountain View I found that it would take 45-60 minutes (on a good day) to drive to work. Transit would take 2-3 hours (and cost a good chunk of change - certainly more than I was paying for bridge tolls and gas).

It’s a complete mess with no simple to implement solutions is what I’m getting at.