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Google to fund free shuttles through 2024

Ridership reportedly exceeding 200K last year as service grew in popularity

Mountain View's free community shuttle service will be getting an upgrade. In a new deal inked with the city, Google has agreed to continue paying for the transit system for another five years, ensuring the service will remain in place through 2024.

With the benefit of that time, city officials say they hope to take more control over the service and better integrate it into the area's larger transportation network.

"This is great news for the continuation of the pilot program and service, which many local residents have come to rely on in their daily routines," said City Manager Dan Rich. "With this extension, Google will have committed more than $20 million from the program's launch in 2015 through 2024."

After launching in 2015, the community shuttle service has slowly drawn in a growing ridership, reporting it served over 200,000 passengers last year. But up to this point, it was never clear how long the service would remain in place.

The program, which reportedly cost about $2 million a year to operate, has been renewed by Google officials on an annual basis. While city officials made it clear they appreciated the free service, they also acknowledged that the pilot could only continue as long as Google wanted it to.

Under the new five-year funding phase, Google officials will reportedly hand off the shuttle program's day-to-day administration. City officials intend to analyze ways to improve the shuttles and link them to other services.

More information about the community shuttle service, including routes, maps and schedules, can be found on its website

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Comments

4 people like this
Posted by Bruce Karney
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 2, 2019 at 4:08 pm

Bruce Karney is a registered user.

That's good news. I hope the shuttles will first expand their hours and then expand the number of routes. Instead of 10AM to 6PM I'd love to see 6AM to 8PM.


6 people like this
Posted by RLG
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 2, 2019 at 5:44 pm

Given the traffic congestion that accompanies the concerts at Shoreline, has any consideration been given to busing concert attendees from the MV train station lot to the amphitheatre and back?


1 person likes this
Posted by IVG
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 3, 2019 at 7:49 am

Interesting that this was published right after the article on the civil grand jury report re: VTA. $2M for 200k riders makes a $10 subsidy per rider, just like VTA, but for shorter trips.


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