Blogging Bayport Alameda

February 4, 2014

Ferry on

Filed under: Alameda, Transportation — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

If you take the Harbor Bay Ferry or work anywhere in the vicinity you might have noticed a bunch of news trucks outside.   If you were wondering what was going on and didn’t happen to catch it on the news Google (yes THAT Google) is testing out an Alameda to Redwood City ferry route to shuttle its workers to Mountain View using something other than those Google buses that have grown to symbolize the problem with gentrification in cities like Oakland and San Francisco.  The test will only last five days.

While I understand the basic sentiment behind the anger toward the Google buses, I guess I struggle with seeing the problem of getting single occupancy vehicles off the roads by providing workers with a mass transit option.  I’ll also point out that, in San Francisco, private shuttle buses have been used long before Google started, but those gleaming white buses are a pretty big and obvious target, plus taking up spaces reserved for true public transit is probably pretty frustrating.

Anyway, Google’s foray into private ferries hasn’t appeared to have the same affect as the Google buses.  Google is testing out a run from San Francisco to Redwood City and it looks like they are now testing the viability of getting their East Bay workers out of the buses and cutting directly across the Bay with this Alameda route.

I’m not quite sure how this benefits Alameda since I imagine that the population of Google workers that actually lives in Alameda is pretty small.  It might affect traffic in to Alameda during commute time which, while reverse, still will clog up on streets  near Lincoln Middle School.  Granted the pilot is very small, according to the Mountain View Times, for the San Francisco to Redwood City ferry, about 500 people expressed interest and they started with  a 100 person pilot.  If the pilot is similar for the Alameda ferry, that won’t be that much of an impact.

According to the Press Release that was issued, Google will be paying WETA $275 per landing and the employees will not be using the Ferry’s parking lot but will have to park somewhere offsite (that, of course, is not the residential neighborhood.)

Hey, you know, if the Google ferry is successful maybe Ron Cowan should build service oriented retail in that North Loop Space to serve all those new ferry riders.  Just a thought.



  1. Why don’t they just buy Alameda Point and build a Googleplex there? Several problems solved.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — February 4, 2014 @ 9:48 am

  2. #1: Actually not a bad idea. Oakland would be jealous and come up with some negative traffic impact study.

    Comment by Basel — February 4, 2014 @ 3:55 pm

  3. 3 days into the trial and the Harbor Bay terminal parking lot is already full way earlier even though they aren’t “allowed to park” in public parking spaces. Totally unenforceable and totally foreseeable. Jack London with its easier access to other transit (AC Transit, BART, etc.) would make a lot more sense then an isolated ferry terminal with minimal parking.

    Comment by Alemedan — February 5, 2014 @ 8:54 am

  4. Ron Cowan has finally found a way to generat more revenue than any housing , pier and dock , tax payers , street tax payer , parking tax payer , a win win situation
    As per Google I find it interesting that like all so call high tech co ,they have more parking space than they have building , all of them have the same system , the day rthey demolish these parking structure I might consider might believing them , Just like Genentech which used to have mini buses now use oversize buses , the other day one of their bus went thru the commuter lane and toll plaza like it belong to them , they have a big sticker on the back that read this bus removendred of vehicle from the road , howere thanks to these new LED light , there was only one person driving the bus no passenger , now should you go thru the toll plaza without paying it will cost you $500 in addition to the 425 for using the commuter lane , knowing a bus need at least 6 car space their fine should be $6000 want to pay off the bridge early . …
    There is nothing these company do which not self centered , Raise the toll to san Mateo and san Francisco bridge to $10 an hour , believe me they can afford it they can evem afford the $50 a toll without any probem . we need to get funding for these bridges from the people which can afford it and are the main user .
    I am looking forward seeing a speed camera trap on otis and broadway

    Comment by john — February 6, 2014 @ 10:11 am

  5. how does that go? life imitates art? You think the dollar amount offered here is a little insulting?

    Comment by MI — February 6, 2014 @ 3:58 pm

  6. hey, Google barge needs a new home, but Alameda may be too close to Oakland so it could become a floating fortress fleeing stone throwing white punks from running as pirates under Occupy Oakland banner. Barge as metaphor: an arc to rescue Google elites from rising tides of bad publicity.

    Comment by MI — February 6, 2014 @ 4:08 pm

  7. Rebecca Solnit nails it: “The idea of the memo was to make it seem that the luxury buses are reducing, not increasing Silicon Valley’s impact on San Francisco. ‘It’s not a luxury,’ one Google worker said of the bus: ‘It’s just a thing on wheels that gets us to work.’ But a new study concludes that if the buses weren’t available, half the workers wouldn’t drive their own cars from San Francisco to Silicon Valley; nearly a third wouldn’t be willing to live here and commute there at all.”

    Comment by MI — February 12, 2014 @ 3:41 pm

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