After catching plenty of backlash (both warranted and misguided) for their shuttle buses, Google is now experimenting with a new way to get workers from San Francisco to Redwood City: by skipping the buses and taking to the seas.
According to CBS5, Google has privately contracted a 149-passenger catamaran modestly named The Triumphant as part of a trial program with the Port of San Francisco. The ship makes two morning runs and two evening runs per day between the Ferry Building and Redwood City. And for the privilege of using city piers, Google is paying the Port of San Francisco a $50 fee for each docking — standard protocol for one-time or short-term users of the port. As the maritime director for the Port told CBS5, the bay doesn't see enough action as a means of transportation.
"We certainly don’t want to cause any inconvenience to SF residents," the faceless voice of Google said in a statement provided to tech blog Re/code. "And we’re trying alternative ways to get Googlers to work."
Unfortunately, the private commuter service got off to a choppy start when it launched on Monday. As East Bay commuter Scot H. tells SFist via email, regular Oakland/Alameda ferry service was delayed getting into the Ferry Building on Monday morning when an unknown vessel was docked in their spot at Gate E on Pier 1. Although none of the riders complained, a ferry employee explained that they had been told by port authorities to wait for the Google vessel to clear just moments before arriving for their scheduled run.
If you're wondering what a ride on The Triumphant is like, well, it is apparently somewhere between your standard commuter ferry and a mood-lit dinner cruise. Rest assured, however, this baby was built for speed and comfort: