REDWOOD CITY (KPIX 5) – Just as Bay Area high-tech firms such as Google have been using private shuttle buses to transport their workers to their jobs, Google is taking it to another level with its own ferry service on San Francisco Bay.
KPIX 5 has learned that Google has contracted with a private firm to provide a catamaran to ferry its workers from San Francisco to Redwood City.
The service started Monday and the catamaran – the Triumphant which holds 149 passengers – runs two trips in the morning from San Francisco to Redwood City and two return trips in the evening. The ride takes about 47 minutes each way.
Google is providing the service on a 30-day trial basis and paying the port for each docking just like any other short-term users of port facilities, according to Port of San Francisco Maritime Director Peter Dailey. “Right now, per landing it’s around $50, maybe a little less, per call,” he said.
Google hired a company called Multinational Logistics to provide the Triumphant, a multi-hulled ferry based in Long Beach.
Dailey said the Port will be studying what impact the service has on normal bay traffic. “One of the prerequisites of this trial study is that it cannot impact public ferry operations – it canot delay or in any way impact their operation,” he said.
As for whether Google has the proper permits and inspections for the ferry service, the Coast Guard told KPIX 5 if Google is not charging employees for the service, the ferry would be treated the same as a recreational vessel and would not require an inspection.
Depending on the success of the trial period, we could see other companies following suit. “The bay is underutilized,” said Dailey. “These facilities are underutilized there’s much more capacity to utilize the bay for transportation.”
So far there been no comment from either Google or Multinational Logistics.