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Google Ferry Feasibility Study Mountain View, CA

Google is a rapidly growing company with its headquarters in the Shoreline area of Mountain View.  It has many innovative features as a place to work, including a recently established employee transportation system that provides bus service from many different Bay Area cities where employees reside.  The objective of this study was to determine whether using the Bay ferries for transportation to Mountain View could become an element of the transportation program.  This study examines the potential ridership of a water transit route and evaluates the environmental and financial feasibility of establishing water transit as an additional mode for employee transportation.

CHS led the study effort, with URS as the subcontractor responsible for wetland channel and biological assessments.  CHS developed estimates of ferry ridership for both one-direction (SF to Mountain View in the morning and Mountain View to SF in the afternoon) operation and bi-direction operation (assuming a large Google SF campus). CHS developed conceptual operating plans, vehicle prototypes, and cost estimates, and identified institutional barriers.  We also provided cost comparisons between Google’s current shuttle bus operation and potential ferry services.

The CHS recommendations were accepted by Google.  However, the service did not begin due to the economic recession began in 2008 and the additional public investment required for a navigation channel.

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