Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bikes are the new cars

According to this story from Transportation Nation (a public radio collaboration about transportation)  tech workers commute to work by alternative means at a much higher rate than other industries.

Now some of this might be correlation- a lot of high tech companies are in places that might already be attractive for riding (Palo Alto not known for frigid winters).  Or there might be other demographic forces at work.  But it's still interesting that there's a correlation between people who work in info-tech and biking

Thought this video produced by Google about their own commuter programs was interesting.

Some key points-  40% of the staff at the mountain view campus  arrives by means other than private car.  They provide very very very cute "Gbikes"for transportation within the campus

( I want!)
Another part of the transportation puzzle which I think they've got nicely figured out is that sometimes you need to run an errand during the day or at lunch. If you work downtown that's pretty easy because there are lots of services in a dense area. If you work in a suburb, and you take a bus, or ride a bike, you might not be able to do that easily, so you might be tempted to drive to make that possible.  Google has a private car sharing system so that you can use a company car for errands during the day.

I know that locally there's a transportation organization the "Charles River Transportation Management Association"  which not only does a shuttle service from the Kendall T stop to various locations in East Cambridge, but they also provide (free) emergency cab rides if you or a kid get sick during the day, or if you have to work late and miss your bus/train home.  I think that this is a good alternative for companies that aren't big enough to have their own dedicated transportation program like Google does.

Edit,  I'm going to add this article on the criticism Apple is receiving for their anti-urban new compound:


  1. Google also has a nice bicycle loaner program so you can get a decent quality bicycle (and lock) if you are visiting from out of town and want to bike commute and you can get a bike to borrow if you are a local and your own bicycle is in the shop.

  2. The guys that wrote that article have never ridden home from work in a Texas ice storm or even a real frog strangler thunderstorm

  3. GOOG has a rep for taking care of their employees, whether it's internal food options, dentists, child care, buses, or campus bikes, which occasionally show up on clist. They exact a price but there're enough perqs to make the package attractive to many health-minded, value-added NorCalians.

    The APPL campus...must be building a particle accelerator...pretty much typifies its corporate culture embodied by SJ. Kinda insular, beholden only to themselves. Perhaps Foxconn will relocate here for more immediate supervision. Sure it's proposed to be located in a desolate part of Cupertino, but the contrast is there.