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Google bestows Silicon Valley town with free shuttle buses

Mountain View is the recipient of four electric buses that will serve neighborhoods with limited public transportation starting this fall.


Google appears to be quite the generous neighbor when it comes to the hometown of its massive headquarters. The tech giant has agreed to front the cost for four electric shuttle buses that will serve as public transport in Silicon Valley's Mountain View.

City officials announced Tuesday that Google has given a large contribution to the town that will pay for the shuttle project for at least two years, according to the local newspaper Mountain View Voice. The buses should be up and running by fall.

The shuttles are meant to serve neighborhoods that don't have a lot of public transportation and will most likely run every 30 minutes on weekdays and every hour on weekends.

"We're thrilled to be working with the City of Mountain View to provide neighbors a new -- and green -- way to get around town," Google transportation manager Kevin Mathy told CNET.

Google has caught a lot of flak in San Francisco for its employee shuttle service to and from its Silicon Valley campus. Critics have been upset with, among other things, the rising rents due to highly paid tech workers moving into the city. There has been an incidence of raised rents and home prices around the bus pickup and drop-off locations.

But it appears Google has been working to make it right. Not only has it been willing to pay San Francisco for using public bus stops, but it has also given the city a $6.8 million donation to fund low-income students' transportation. Google has also tested out a way to shuttle workers to Mountain View on high-speed ferryboats.

As for Mountain View, free buses aren't the only perk its residents have gotten from Google -- the company also provides free Wi-Fi access to the entire city.