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Google Funds San Francisco Bus Rides For Poor

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the but-they-need-to-format-their-destination-query-properly dept.

Google 362

theodp writes "The LA Times reports that Google will fund free bus passes for low- and middle-income kids in a move to quiet the controversy surrounding tech-driven gentrification in San Francisco. In a statement, Google said, 'San Francisco residents are rightly frustrated that we don't pay more to use city bus stops. So we'll continue to work with the city on these fees, and in the meantime will fund MUNI passes for low income students [an existing program] for the next two years.' SF Mayor Ed Lee said, 'I want to thank Google for this enormous gift to the SFMTA, and I look forward to continuing to work with this great San Francisco employer towards improving our City for everyone.' But not all were impressed. 'It's a last-minute PR move on their part, and they're trying to use youth unfairly to create a better brand image in the city,' said Erin McElroy of the SF Anti-Eviction Mapping Project."

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I don't get it. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380317)

The land of the Free.

But not so free as to be able to pick up passengers while stopped on a public road.

For that you need papers and baksheesh.

Re:I don't get it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380325)

But the community had to pay for a bit of yellow paint to mark the bus-stop and a Festivus pole to fix a sign with 'Bus-Stop' on it.

That 'investment' needs to generate money!

Re:I don't get it. (1)

nukenerd (172703) | about 10 months ago | (#46381019)

But the community had to pay for a bit of yellow paint to mark the bus-stop and a Festivus pole to fix a sign with 'Bus-Stop' on it.

Perhaps things differently in the US. In the UK cities, there is yellow (no parking) paint everywhere. The only difference at bus stops is that the pattern is different. As for the pole and sign, the bus companies themselves pay for that, naturally.

Re:I don't get it. (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about 10 months ago | (#46381255)

But the community had to pay for a bit of yellow paint to mark the bus-stop and a Festivus pole to fix a sign with 'Bus-Stop' on it. That 'investment' needs to generate money!

This, so much this.

Seriously, San Francisco - What the fuck? I don't understand why this even counts as an issue - Would it really help your budget that much if you could force Google and company to take public transit to work? Or more likely, would it just massively increase congestion on your roads and make the average SF'er bitch about those damned geeks driving up the cost of parking spaces?

Like it or not, Silicon Valley didn't destroy SF, it made SF. You want to go back to the 1970s? [designboom.com] Just move to Detroit today, and enjoy your cheap housing and everything that comes with it.

The Google buses amount to nothing more than carpools, an environmentally friendly way to move a few thousand people from home to work and back every day. Just admit it, this has nothing to do with public transit, and everything to do with gentrification - Not a bad word, BTW, it just means making the slums safe for human habitation again.

Re:I don't get it. (1, Troll)

mean pun (717227) | about 10 months ago | (#46380379)

Should this mythical land of the free allow you to run a bus service with vehicles that are a menace to its passengers or other road users? Without proper education of it's bus drivers? Without any insurance? Would you mind if this bus service cherry-picks the profitable routes, so that companies that try to offer more balanced public transport go bankrupt?

Re:I don't get it. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380513)

Absolutely not, companies should be required to do things that make no economic sense.

We should also extend that to individuals, in order to promote more balanced dining establishments, you should be required to eat at places you don't want to eat at instead of just cherry picking where you eat.

Re:I don't get it. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380523)

Absolutely not, companies should be required to do things that make no economic sense.

We should also extend that to individuals, in order to promote more balanced dining establishments, you should be required to eat at places you don't want to eat at instead of just cherry picking where you eat.

Only fat people eat out on a regular basis. Those of us who are not lardasses only eat out on special occasions like birthdays and do all the rest of the cooking on their own, at home, from raw and unprocessed ingredients. We save a bunch of money too, both on overpriced prepared food cooked and served by strangers, and later on we save lots of money on all the health problems disease-ridden fat people tend to get.

Re: I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380663)

Yikes!

Re:I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380693)

Only fat people eat on a regular basis. Those of us who are thin and popular subsist on celery stalks and vitamin water.

Re:I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46381163)

As a single guy, I eat out on a regular basis, and am thin. The cost is acceptable to me because cooking for myself is a waste of my own time. It not where you eat that makes you fat, it's what and how much you eat.

Re:I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380519)

It's == "it is"

Its == possessive form of the pronoun "it"

You == fail, fail, FAIL what 2nd-graders are expected to understand

Stop the emotion, use logic next time. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380539)

"Should this mythical land of the free allow you to run a bus service with vehicles that are a menace to its passengers or other road users?"

They're not a menace. That's emotional talk from someone who feels as if they want to be taken care of by others.

"Would you mind if this bus service cherry-picks the profitable routes, so that companies that try to offer more balanced public transport go bankrupt?"

Yes. Google is allowed to run a bus service for it's employees without regard to whatever service San Francisco wants to run. Maybe San Fran ought to hire Google to run it's busses.

Re:Stop the emotion, use logic next time. (5, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | about 10 months ago | (#46380581)

It would be absolutely awesome of Samtrans or Muni provided a service similar to what the Google buses provide, but they don't, and they have actively worked to avoid doing so. So the activists really have no leg to stand on here. They should be trying to fix public transit in the bay area, not prevent people from working around its brokenness.

Re:Stop the emotion, use logic next time. (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 10 months ago | (#46381031)

Maybe San Fran ought to hire Google to run it's busses.

So it can create a bus service until one day when it decides, "We've decided to discontinue this service, because, well, none of your business".

Why not let Google run the fire department too? They'll put out your fire as long as you sign off on their terms of service.

Re:Stop the emotion, use logic next time. (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about 10 months ago | (#46381105)

That is why you have fixed term contracts.

Re:I don't get it. (2)

hax4bux (209237) | about 10 months ago | (#46380603)

I work in SF and I am not threatened by the Google Bus. How this was marked "insightful" is beyond me.

Re:I don't get it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46381193)

I work

Well, you already have your answer why you aren't threatened.

You're right! (1)

tlambert (566799) | about 10 months ago | (#46380961)

Should this mythical land of the free allow you to run a bus service with vehicles that are a menace to its passengers or other road users? Without proper education of it's bus drivers? Without any insurance? Would you mind if this bus service cherry-picks the profitable routes, so that companies that try to offer more balanced public transport go bankrupt?

You're right! Let's shut down Muni! It does all those things!

Do away with the commute (1)

invictusvoyd (3546069) | about 10 months ago | (#46380335)

Now that google is laying high speed fibre networks, why not let the employees telecommute over their Gbps links ? That solves the problem of them crowding public transport and the etc .

________________________________________
Have you exchanged ..a walk on part in the war .. for a lead role in a cage ..

Re:Do away with the commute (4, Insightful)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 10 months ago | (#46380357)

Even when given the choice to telecommute, I often choose not to. I often find its much easier to get work done face to face, that and when you're in an actual work environment (or at least, aren't at home) there are fewer distractions.

Re:Do away with the commute (5, Insightful)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 10 months ago | (#46380361)

Same here, I think we let work encroach into personal life enough as it is. Home is home, I want nothing to do with work at home.

Re:Do away with the commute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380735)

Home is home - it would be nice to spend some of ones waking life *at* home - after all, often the reason to work in the first place is to *buy* a home.

Re:Do away with the commute (0)

kevingolding2001 (590321) | about 10 months ago | (#46380363)

I often find its much easier to get work done face to face

You're not a programmer.

Re:Do away with the commute (3, Interesting)

mellon (7048) | about 10 months ago | (#46380619)

I am a programmer, and I find working with other programmers nearby to be very valuable. Having randoms wander into the office is not so good, but there's a good synergy to over-the-cube-wall conversation when you are coding in a team. Having worked from home for the past decade, this is the primary thing that I miss. The commute, not so much... :)

Re:Do away with the commute (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380647)

You find working with others nearby to be very valuable because you rely upon them to do your work for you, don't you? You're not a real programmer, you're a goddamn leech. Real programmers need not synergy nor companionship beyond that which the machine provides.

Re:Do away with the commute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380745)

Work from home? But but but but but but... who's gonna disturb you every eight seconds with anecdotes?

Captcha: slacking

Re:Do away with the commute (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about 10 months ago | (#46380987)

You find working with others nearby to be very valuable because you rely upon them to do your work for you, don't you? You're not a real programmer, you're a goddamn leech. Real programmers need not synergy nor companionship beyond that which the machine provides.

A recent study shows that trolls have a very high rate for mental illness. You may want to get that checked.

Re:Do away with the commute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380367)

Even when given the choice to telecommute, I often choose not to. I often find its much easier to get work done face to face, that and when you're in an actual work environment (or at least, aren't at home) there are fewer distractions.

How much did you get paid for saying that???

Re:Do away with the commute (2)

invictusvoyd (3546069) | about 10 months ago | (#46380419)

The tech stuff is better done via electronic communication rather than bringing our "human" personalities in the way . To think of it , the entire outsourcing industry "telecommutes" ..

Re:Do away with the commute (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 10 months ago | (#46380481)

And we all know how well outsourcing works out for everyone.....

Re:Do away with the commute (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 10 months ago | (#46380567)

I often find its much easier to get work done face to face

I often find it is much easier to get work done cheek to cheek

. . . but that depends on the meaning of the word "work", in in the Clintonian sense of what the meaning of the word "is" is . . .

Re:Do away with the commute (1)

mellon (7048) | about 10 months ago | (#46380621)

Hm, brings new meaning to the term "pair programming."

Re:Do away with the commute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380669)

fewer distractions.

Try getting work done when your idiot coworkers are blasting conservative talk radio all day long. "We'll put a boot up your ass, that's the American way!"

Re:Do away with the commute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380753)

I disagree. I'm pretty much a telecommuting master, as are the people I choose to work with on a daily basis. We get more done and build start-ups which end up selling for millions from the comfort of our home offices. Just because YOU haven't figured out how to work from home without distraction or proper collaboration doesn't mean many others haven't.

Working with all sorts of people, even those in remote places in the world, is something I always will love. I for one will never move to California, even though I do fly in for a couple weeks now and again due to the idiotic gun/hunting laws. I prefer living in suburban/rural areas where I can enjoy life without the distraction of city idiots.

Re:Do away with the commute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380881)

> We get more done and build start-ups which end up selling for millions from the comfort of our home offices.

Yeah, who in VC business doesn't know A. Coward and his disruptive start-ups!

SF Gentry opposes Gentrification (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380347)

Busing in "youths" sounds like a great way to keep property values down.

"Unfair"? (5, Insightful)

physicsphairy (720718) | about 10 months ago | (#46380375)

'It's a last-minute PR move on their part, and they're trying to use youth unfairly to create a better brand image in the city,' said Erin McElroy of the SF Anti-Eviction Mapping Project."

This truly bothers me. This guy is like the members of MADD who are upset with ride programs because it means people won't get caught for DUI. Or those who are gleeful when civlians die in a way that proves their point.

When it comes to something like donating money to help poor kids, I don't care who is doing it or why. I care that the kids are being helped. It's obvious who views them as political pawns when one person feels it's "unfair" that they are receiving financial assistance because it doesn't play into his picture of the world. I'll bet Mr. Erin McElroy donates exactly $0 to help these kids out.

Re:"Unfair"? (5, Informative)

x_IamSpartacus_x (1232932) | about 10 months ago | (#46380527)

It bothers me too. In my opinion it's part of a subtle temptation and accidental attitude that is very common in humanitarian/NGO/missionary work.

Let me explain.

I am a missionary working in Sub-Saharan Africa trying to fill a hole in the medical care here. In a developing country there are expected and predictable shortcomings in the medical system and I find myself trying to help cancer patients where the State cannot. Now, the tempting mindset is to hope that the State never actually develops enough to do what I do, thus, I never find myself redundant and always feel needed and like I’m filling a purpose. That is, of course, a horrible thing to hope. Of course I hope my service is redundant soon and of course I hope that what I do won’t be needed soon. That would mean fewer people were suffering! That would be great! It would also mean I’m no longer needed and I could find myself and my family in some trouble looking for a new place to serve.

The “I hope the problem never goes away so I never find my cause pointless” mindset is what is likely going on here. Erin McElroy of the SF Anti-Eviction Mapping Project likely dedicates her (his?) entire life or, at minimum, most of his (her?) emotional energy on this project and so any progress Google and others make to help things get better means Erin is more and more redundant and less and less needed. That is a scary thing for someone who lives for a cause and therefore, while fighting for their cause, there is often a self-defeating hope that the cause never actually succeeds.

That’s just what I’ve noticed in the “I have a cause” field at least. YMMV.

Please mod this person up (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | about 10 months ago | (#46380547)

Well said, and very likely true.

Re:"Unfair"? (2)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 10 months ago | (#46380593)

The mindset you describe, self-preservation, is the reason that we never actually want to solve problems, win wars, cure diseases, or actually fix anything.

There is too much money to be made fighting wars, so we don't try to win them. There is too much money to be made treating cancer symptoms, so we don't try to cure it meaningfully. There is too much money to be made lobbying against polluted air, so we lobby for half-assed solutions that don't work. There is too much money to be made fighting the "war on drugs," so we make no effort to eradicate drugs. There is too much money to be made fighting crime, so we make no meaningful effort to reduce crime. Police departments love federal paramilitarization dollars.

It's all personal greed and self-preservation.

Re:"Unfair"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380773)

In fact, it's even better if our 'solution' subtly causes the problem it nominally solves.

Re:"Unfair"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46381237)

It's better to cause another problem in a cycle of problems. Crop rotation keeps the nutrients fresh.

Jim Rogers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380673)

In one of Jim Rogers' books (I think Investment Biker) he mentioned that NGOs LOVE their job because they are paid like they are back home, get a Mercedes and free living expenses and live like a king in these countries. And the further up the food chain in the NGO, even more perks.

He made it sound like a really sweet deal and all NGOs are anything but altruistic.

Poor? Let me guess (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380395)

Poor you say? let me guess. This bus will be filled with black boys with huge gold chains around their necks, their obnoxious retarded bitches, wobbling their hairspray helmet heads while waving those disgusting 2" plastic fingernails and blabbering nonsense with that whiny nasal voice, calling each other whore.
Oh, and their lovely screaming crack-baby bastards, lets think about them too.

Thank you Google for removing this scum from regular bus lines. What's next? Airports, hotels and casinos for "poor" lazy scum? "Free money" maybe?

Re:Poor? Let me guess (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 10 months ago | (#46380703)

You are an ignorant idiot. Stop being one.

Re:Poor? Let me guess (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380867)

You are an ignorant idiot. Stop being one.

Why? Because he expressed his opinion and happens to be right? Have you seen similar characters using food stamps? I see this every day!

Re:Poor? Let me guess (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 10 months ago | (#46381155)

The racist rant was a tipoff to the ignorance. All kinds of people in our world, not exposing yourself to different ideas breeds the ignorant ideas of hatred, superiority over others, etc... Though I may be replying to a closed off mind. In that case..., go you!

Re:Poor? Let me guess (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 10 months ago | (#46381199)

P.S. I happen to be light skinned person of German Irish descent. I've been up and down in my life. Had good conversations with people of many descents. People are people, basically, where ever you go. I also have known many non-darker skinned people who use food stamps. They might act strangely also. It's a human condition. But if you have the need to feel you are better than others, perhaps that's your issue to deal with.

Re:Poor? Let me guess (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about 10 months ago | (#46381169)

It said poor students, which I took to mean college students.

A severe distortion is here (4, Interesting)

drolli (522659) | about 10 months ago | (#46380403)

What would be unfair would be to continue to continue the division of rich, clean suburbs far outside the city, only ot be reached by environmentally unfriendly and space/road-wasting cars, and create infrastructure for the upper middle class there - and allow them to avoid contact with the less fortunate.

To find efficient solutions (aka Busses) to transport workers in the city and thus mix income in parts of the city and even help other parts of the population to choose a efficient way of transportation and help in reducing the traffic is *not* unfair. If at all, it may be considered communist.

Re:A severe distortion is here (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380559)

and allow them to avoid contact with the less fortunate.

Tell ya what. Convince the "less fortunate" (most of whom made bad decisions like getting knocked up) to be less violent, to act like they have the slightest bit of class, to really hate stealing, and generally to value leaving other people alone, and us terrible horrible people who don't want to associate with them will change our minds.

Till then, you can keep on demonizing anyone who doesn't want to be mugged that day.

Re:A severe distortion is here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380615)

Convince the "less fortunate" (most of whom made bad decisions like getting knocked up

Convince your generation that pregnancy is a bad decision, and your generation will be the last generation, ever.

CAPTCHA: prosper. What you won't be doing without progeny.

Huh? (4, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 10 months ago | (#46380429)

How does Google employees waiting at bus stops cost the city money? Where's this loss coming from that Google must compensate for? Or is this just knee-jerk hostility from the usual suspects?

Re:Huh? (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 10 months ago | (#46380505)

They should just have the employees picked up from privately owned locations whenever possible. I'm sure malls and stuff would like the extra foot traffic especially from Google employees who would probably have a little disposable income.

Re:Huh? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 10 months ago | (#46380787)

Considering this is the US, the nearest malls are likely more than some 300 m (oh sorry, that'd be 900 ft for you guys) from the employee's home, and that means they'd need their car just to get to the bus stop, making the whole exercise moot. Besides I don't think those shopping malls like to have their car parks used as P+R.

Re:Huh? (1)

hax4bux (209237) | about 10 months ago | (#46380617)

There should be a Google helicopter. Should cure everything.

Seriously? (1)

mschaffer (97223) | about 10 months ago | (#46380665)

Seriously? We're talking about California. Because Google has money, they should have the right to redistribute it as they see fit.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380793)

Incorrect - because <entity/person> has money that should have the right to be taxed in many interesting ways for having the indecency to try to do something using their own minds without paying dues to those too stupid/lazy/ignorant to do anything themselves.

Re:Seriously? (5, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | about 10 months ago | (#46381267)

Exactly. The cure for inequality is to bring them down a bit. To hell with elevating everyone else up, it's too hard. But taking and taking and taking until they are like the rest is easy.

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about 10 months ago | (#46380687)

How does Google employees waiting at bus stops cost the city money? Where's this loss coming from that Google must compensate for? Or is this just knee-jerk hostility from the usual suspects?

Well, it is probably not a coincidence that gentrification became an official problem about when it got to where white middle class people began to get priced out of inner city neighborhoods.

Two approaches to improving things (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about 10 months ago | (#46380431)

1. Welfare
2. Gentrification

One approach says "give the poor some stuff to help them get a leg up, live slightly better and afford them some opportunities." The other says "Give the rich some room to grown in poor/bad neighborhoods and see if things trickle down to improve the local economy."

Well? I'm a little undecided which is best because frankly, the first option would work on me. I have been on public assistance in the past. I didn't like it and got off of it as soon as possible. On the other hand, some people are quite compfortable wallowing in that sh!t.

Meanwhile, the things I have seen come through gentrification have been successful. I have not seen any information related to gentrification failures other than "they say don't! whites not welcome here!" and then they don't do it. So if anyone can point to "gentrification gone bad" I'd be interested in learning about it.

Re:Two approaches to improving things (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380473)

> On the other hand, some people are quite compfortable wallowing in that sh!t.

"some" as far as I can tell from people researching on it seems to be "a tiny minority, and usually only for a fairly limited time". And who knows what they do when they work. I see little point in designing society around a tiny and honestly irrelevant minority.

Re:Two approaches to improving things (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380799)

You mean, like homosexuals?

See what you did there?

Re:Two approaches to improving things (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about 10 months ago | (#46381021)

erroneus, as all things in life, a bit of both. All about balance.

Planned Parenthood (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | about 10 months ago | (#46380439)

Had the right idea.

Let me get this straight: (4, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 10 months ago | (#46380461)

1. Corporation does nothing to help the poor.
- Evil.
2. Corporation does something to help the poor.
- PR move.

Re:Let me get this straight: (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 10 months ago | (#46380511)

More to the point. Google offered this service as a benifit to their employees. In a world where are employee benifits are getting whacked every year in both unioned and non unioned shops. Why should we get so outrage that a company is offering benifits?

Re:Let me get this straight: (1)

invictusvoyd (3546069) | about 10 months ago | (#46380569)

3) A corporation exists and does anything and everything - Profit

Re:Let me get this straight: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380625)

3 If said corporation had done something to help the poor before and not after public criticism.
- No PR move.

Re:Let me get this straight: (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 10 months ago | (#46380803)

Every charitable donation a corporation makes, is a PR move. They do it to make their company look good, give themselves a better image to help them sell more product, or to get something in return that benefits them like using existing bus stops.

Even if Google had done this before the whole furore started, it'd have been a PR move. It'd just have been less high profile.

And either way it's a good thing for all those low-income people that suddenly gain a lot more mobility.

Re:Let me get this straight: (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about 10 months ago | (#46381071)

Couldn't have said it better myself. Whether you think this PR stunt exonerates Google of any blame for "things" or not, and whether you think charity is a suitable substitute for proper taxation or not, doesn't change the fact that a large injection of cash into "buses for poor young people" is obviously a good thing.

Perhaps it is cynical and we should be cynical. But hey, it's still a good outcome.

Re:Let me get this straight: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46381233)

It's not evil, it's just amoral.

That's because corporations are not people. It's beyond embarrassing at this point that such a simple fact still has to be repeated. It's probably past even sickening.

Corporations are not people. Stop anthropomorphizing them. That would include their megaphone voice in politics and peoples' inability to be held personally accountable for their actions. Doing something in the name of a group should not make you immune to prosecution.

telecommute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380463)

You don't have to stay home every day. 1 day a week for a meeting etc. And you don't waste 2 hours a day getting ready and traveling to work. Plus I know people who leave a group Skype call on all day. It's very easy to lock yourself in a study ifyou have kids or a dog wife

Re:telecommute (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380495)

You don't have to stay home every day. 1 day a week for a meeting etc. And you don't waste 2 hours a day getting ready and traveling to work. Plus I know people who leave a group Skype call on all day. It's very easy to lock yourself in a study ifyou have kids or a dog wife

If I had a dog wife I would be "working late" at the office..

Re:telecommute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46381319)

ifyou have kids or a dog wife

They always said that if gays "married" then the next step would be the bestiosexuals. I always thought it was argumentum ad absurdum. Now we have dog wives. SMH

Stolen PR move. (1, Insightful)

geekmux (1040042) | about 10 months ago | (#46380475)

'It's a last-minute PR move on their part, and they're trying to use youth unfairly to create a better brand image in the city,'

Ironically, when I read this statement, it sounded like a line straight out of Big Tobacco's Advertising 101 playbook.

Don't be so quick to judge. At least when Google does PR, they don't kill millions of people in the process selling their product.

Keeping the peasants in line (1, Troll)

Required Snark (1702878) | about 10 months ago | (#46380489)

The Lords of Google have been forced pay attention because the peasants are actively resisting the annexation of the formerly free city of San Francisco by the Sovereign Realm of Google. The Realm needs to annex the city for housing for it's ever expanding noble classes. (See Lebensraum [wikipedia.org] .)

The current plan is to allow the children of the peasants to gather windfall in the orchards of Google. This costs Google a tiny fraction of it's vast wealth, and makes it seem that they care about the peasants, because they are selflessly helping the children! Hopefully the stupid peasants will shut up and gratefully accept this bright trinket, so the serious project of evicting them from their land can continue unimpeded.

Don't (get caught) doing evil.

Re:Keeping the peasants in line (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about 10 months ago | (#46381217)

I never realized how windfall got its meaning until your post. Neat.

Corporations Absorbing Public Chores (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380525)

Charity or State substituted by Corporations. Or incorporated? There should be a name for that. Oh, (etc.) ...

"Easing the load on the public" (donors and the State). Which they otherwise exploit and manipulate relentlessly, along with (almost) all the rest of society. My, what a *nice* carrot! Still nicer than the usual "we're doing whatever we want anyway, so what?" attitude and practice. Would it be too churlish to mention honey-coated whips? Forked, as the tongues respective tend to be.

A tale of two standards (4, Insightful)

davide marney (231845) | about 10 months ago | (#46380533)

"in Oakland, according to reports from IndyBay, as protesters unfurled two giant banners reading "TECHIES: Your World Is Not Welcome Here" and "Fuck off Google", "a person appeared from behind the bus and quickly smashed the whole of the rear window"

"So we'll continue to work with the city on these fees, and in the meantime will fund MUNI passes for low income students [an existing program] for the next two years.'"

One of these groups is judged by our society as being "evil" and the other as "progressive".

Re:A tale of two standards (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380623)

It's called the mob rule - when an angry mob goes on a rampage, you don't criticize the mob, else you would find yourself the next target.

Re:A tale of two standards (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 10 months ago | (#46380771)

One of these groups is judged by our society as being "evil" and the other as "progressive".

I'm not personally against gentrification per se, it does make towns suck but it also raises property values and then you can move. Don't be so attached to one home, security is an illusion anyway. But in any case, one of these groups is contributing to gentrification and the other group isn't, so there is a pretty clear divide.

Re:A tale of two standards (3, Insightful)

lexman098 (1983842) | about 10 months ago | (#46381011)

I have a feeling most of the upset people are renters. The property owners are all too glad for the influx of rich tenants. It sucks for the renters of course because rent goes up, but their income doesn't. They're being pushed out of their home while they see a private bus full of yuppies drive by. It's an easy target.

Quite obviously, an influx of wealth to a particular area can be a good thing, but city planners have to make the most of it. This seems to be a case of stagnant development at a time when they need it most. [techcrunch.com]

Re:A tale of two standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46381015)

One of these groups is judged by our society as being "evil" and the other as "progressive".

It's about entitlement. When the next guy accomplishes something by the sweat of his own brow, it's easy to imagine he owes you, that you are entitled to a share of the fruits of his labor. When you perceive you aren't being given your fair share, it's easy to get angry.

Telecommute Studio Rooms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380549)

Studios have red lights to keep things straight. Telecommuting could incorporate that at home. And a few other revolutionarily bright ideas and practices. Nota a problem for privileged corporate world hegemon drones (the "old" meaning of 'drones', savvy?) to help implement. They like helping.

Since when did carpooling become "evil?" (2)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 10 months ago | (#46380579)

I still don't understand the uproar over Googlers carpooling to work...

Re:Since when did carpooling become "evil?" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380591)

The jobless are envious because they don't have a workplace to carpool to. Thanks to Obama the only American jobs are in Afghanistan or Guantanamo.

Re:Since when did carpooling become "evil?" (0, Troll)

oscrivellodds (1124383) | about 10 months ago | (#46380679)

Yeah, Obama did it all. Bush didn't get us into two wars without funding and let wall street destroy the housing and banking systems. That Obama guy wrecked EVERYTHING!

Re:Since when did carpooling become "evil?" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380943)

wow, 5 years out, still blaming bush? You need to move on.

Re:Since when did carpooling become "evil?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380855)

The jobless are envious because they don't have a workplace to carpool to. Thanks to Obama the only American jobs are in Afghanistan or Guantanamo.

Or, WallMart (good, right?) Or McDonalds (good, right?)

Charity vs Taxation (2, Interesting)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 10 months ago | (#46380611)

Why should we applaud the good prince's largesses? Yes, this is actually nice, encouraging the use of public buses and giving short change for that.
But I find it weird that a giant company wants to substitute itself with what should the town's/muncipality's/local government's duties. And it's a PR move anyway, one that reinforces the notion that a giant private company can appriopriate public space, pay little to no tax and do whatever it wants with no accountability.

In general, I don't get the cultural fascination that US americans have for charity, while at the same time showing extreme disdain for welfare, public services, public funding of infrastructure (except for roads, military and prisons, go figure) and even decent conditions of employment.
E.g. waiters/waitresses are to be paid starvation wages, and rely on tips. Why do they have to beg?, is it so that customers can feel superior or something?, I have trouble understanding this.

Google hides its profits in the Carribean and pays no taxes. What about fixing that. Hire well paid accountant/fiscalist lawyer types to try and close as many of those fucking tax loopholes as they can. Billions upon billions are missing.
Google wants to give $6.8 million in charity money over two years, probably getting some more tax deduction in the way. Fuck them.

Re:Charity vs Taxation (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 10 months ago | (#46380741)

Why isn't San Fransisco allowing students to ride public transportation for free? Google is a private company that's done well, and can do whatever it wants with it's money, that they choose to do this is to be applauded.

I agree, fix the tax loopholes for ALL companies. Until that is done, all companies will take advantage of them.

Re:Charity vs Taxation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380765)

What if Google employees didn't have the buses. They would still live in the area and commute wouldn't they? Thus tying up the roads with more cars and no one would say a damn word. Also where do the employees of Google spend their dollars? In the local businesses where they live thus giving local business a boost and so on. The general neighbour hood becomes more wealthy by having a big employer around... you should see what happens here in Australia when a big mining employer pulls out of a town - all the local businesses go belly up.

Re:Charity vs Taxation (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 10 months ago | (#46380777)

In general, I don't get the cultural fascination that US americans have for charity, while at the same time showing extreme disdain for welfare, public services, public funding of infrastructure (except for roads, military and prisons, go figure) and even decent conditions of employment.
E.g. waiters/waitresses are to be paid starvation wages, and rely on tips. Why do they have to beg?, is it so that customers can feel superior or something?, I have trouble understanding this.

Well, here go my mod points. It's because we're assholes who still want to feel good about ourselves. When we engage in the charity that we should support all the time, we get to feel good. So, yes. It's so that customers can feel superior. Not to the server, necessarily; to their actual selves.

mod 3Own (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46380767)

to deliver what, Is wiped oof and

Not to worry (0, Troll)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 10 months ago | (#46380997)

With the Google-driven gentrification of the Bay Area, Google expects the poor people to have been driven away thanks to rising rents before long.

This is really a cynical move by Google. If they really wanted to do something for poor people, they'll build some dormitories for their employees to live in so people who have lived in a neighborhood all their lives, raised kids in their house and hoped to spend the rest of their lives there won't find themselves priced out of their own homes by a bunch of rich weenies moving in all around them.

Fuck Google. I don't trust them one bit.

I predict (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46381139)

That rich tech people will try to tip these buses over. I don't really predict this because rich people aren't spiteful like "poor" people. "Poor" in quotes because no one is truly poor in the US.

Tax 'em (1)

mbone (558574) | about 10 months ago | (#46381143)

The appropriate response is to tax them properly. I would recommend the 65% top bracket that JFK thought was "sensible."

Economic eviction not gentrification is the issue. (3, Informative)

tlambert (566799) | about 10 months ago | (#46381157)

Economic eviction not gentrification is the issue.

Mostly, it's a problem for renters, who get evicted or have their rents priced out of their reach when someone buys the house/unit they are renting,

It generally has nothing whatsoever to do with Google, other than highly paid people are capable of paying higher rents, and Google tends to pay its employees well. But if the now-priced-out-of-range rental unit were not rented by someone from Google or Twitter or Facebook, or Genentech, or Apple, or some other company, of which many are increasingly based in San Francisco, they would either be rented by someone else with more money than the previous occupants, or they would stand empty, and provide a tax write-off as a loss at the higher rental rate.

There are in fact huge amounts of both housing and office space in SF that are currently standing empty as a tax write-off for some absurd per square foot rental cost that no one in their right mind will be willing to pay.

Note that the vast majority of the investment driving the economic eviction in San Francisco is *not* coming from the tech industry, it is instead coming from foreign investors. Out of 6 offers I made on houses in San Francisco - houses I fully intended to live in, not merely hold as investments or use as rental properties or "flip" in the new real estate bubble - all six were bid out by over 25% at the last second by all cash offers from foreign investors.

Very few countries allow foreign ownership of property; the U.S. is one of the few which does; Japan, China, Mexico, the Philippines, Australia, and Thailand, among others. Minnesota does not permit foreign ownership of agricultural land, period, and does not allow corporate ownership of such land, either, unless associated with an existing long-held family farm. Here's an interesting resource:

http://www.academia.edu/106796... [academia.edu]

Perhaps it's time to take a page from one of these books, and apply the same restrictions on a state-wide level, rather than bitching about San Francisco in particular, since San Francisco has no legal ability to regulate foreign ownership.

I imagine the Real Estate agents would not be terrifically happy, since most of their "big fish" clients are foreign buyers.

Free bus passes for kids (1)

guygo (894298) | about 10 months ago | (#46381253)

and free eviction notices for their parents. Such a deal.
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