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An interview with Genentech on private shuttles



There are more and more buses on the streets of San Francisco, and many of them are private. We wanted to hear from a company that runs one of these private shuttle buses, so we called Genentech, the biotech firm in South San Francisco that was one of the first to offer shuttle services to its employees. It’s now one of the company’s most popular benefits. Vice President of Site Services Carla Borango came by the studio to talk about what’s known as “g-Ride” -- why the company does it, how it’s working, and how she thinks it affects the Bay Area as a whole? We also asked Carla to respond to the growing criticism of private shuttles and if she was surprised that the so-called “Google Buses” have become the symbol of the conflict around the Tech Boom in San Francisco?

Carla Borango:

“It’s curious because it’s is such a positive thing: we’re taking cars off the road and lowering the congestion. It’s good for the environment and it’s good for the communities we serve. We’re located in South San Francisco, where we don’t have a lot of direct public transportation. So we can have a program that gets employees to our campus and a program that actually complements public transportation: we do have employees that take BART, take Caltrain, that take the ferry, and our buses connect up with those locations that are closest to us and gets our employees from public transportation to where we are.”


Click the audio player above for the entire interview.

Holly Kernan is the architect of the award-winning Public Interest Reporting Project. She is currently news director at KALW 91.7FM in San Francisco. In 2009 she was named Journalist of the Year by the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Kernan teaches journalism at Mills College and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and has taught at Santa Rosa Junior College, Youth Radio and San Francisco State University's Lifelong Learning Institute. She lives in Oakland with her husband, Mike, daughter, Julia, and retired greyhound Benjamin Franklin.