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Google tests ferry service to shuttle staffers from San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO -- First came the Google Bus. Now the Google Boat.

In the wake of growing tensions over its shiny fleet of private shuttle buses on the streets of San Francisco, Google has contracted with a privately operated catamaran as an alternative to ferry employees from the city to Redwood City and back.

The catamaran is part of a pilot program which the technology giant kicked off this week. The Triumphant is ferrying as many as 150 employees twice each workday morning and evening, according to KPIX 5, the local CBS affiliate.

“We certainly don’t want to cause any inconvenience to SF residents and we’re trying alternative ways to get Googlers to work,” the Mountain View search giant said in a statement.

The city of San Francisco struck a deal with Google and other tech businesses on Monday to compensate the city for their private shuttles’ use of public bus stops in a move designed to ease tensions. The private shuttle buses have become the most visible symbol of the growing income disparity in San Francisco and have been targeted by protests over rising housing costs and evictions in the city.

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