No one’s sure how the windows on commuter buses between San Francisco and Silicon Valley keep getting smashed on a stretch of the 280 — maybe it’s a pellet gun, maybe it’s thrown rocks — but Apple and Google have informed employees who use the service that their commute is about to get 45 minutes longer as they take alternate routes to avoid that highway.
Five Apple buses had their windows smashed last week, as well as one Google bus, all while the buses were in motion. No injuries were reported.
The buses are a highly visible sign of the problems of the tech industry, which has promoted them as a private solution to crowded highways and underfunded public transit in a region whose industry has become synonymous with tax-avoidance, wealth inequality, and selfishness. They are seen as a symbol of big tech’s program of starving public spending that benefits everyone and replacing it with private services that benefit only them.
They have been the locus of several controversies over the years, including a long-simmering grievance over the buses’ use of city-bus infrastructure, blocking curbs and slowing public transit. In 2014, Google hired private security guards to protect its buses and their riders while they loaded and unloaded in San Francisco.
The buses were not marked with the logos of the companies that chartered them. However, according to a Guardian report, the companies are identifiable by the colors of the buses: white for Google, silver for Apple and blue for Facebook (fb, +0.80%).
“If someone was targeting the buses, I’m sure they are going to find them anywhere they go. It’s not like they are hidden,” the report quoted Montiel as saying.
Apple and Google Reroute Employee Buses as Attacks Resume [David Meyer/Fortune]
(Image: Boris Game X)