MV, Google launch free community shuttle

The city of Mountain View and Google Inc. have partnered to provide a free community shuttle service that will begin as a two-year pilot program.

The daily shuttle is slated to roll out in the fall, with electric shuttles outfitted with bicycle racks.

Both the city and Google have been researching ways to reduce the number of vehicles on the road and promote alternative transit options. Google’s transportation manager, Kevin Mathy, approached the city with the community shuttle concept late last year.

“We’re thrilled to be working with the city of Mountain View to provide neighbors a new – and green – way to get around town,” Mathy said.

While the details are still being finalized, the shuttle service is scheduled to run up to four 16-seat, Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant electric shuttles every 30 minutes from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. On weekends and holidays, one shuttle will run approximately every hour from noon to 8 p.m.

“This service isn’t intended for commuting to work or school,” said Mountain View Mayor Chris Clark. “It’s really about picking up a prescription, heading to the park, going downtown for lunch and catching an early matinee. It’s intended to make the things we love about Mountain View more accessible to the people who live and work here without putting more cars on the road to do it.”

Google and city staff are collaborating with the Valley Transportation Authority to connect with existing transit routes and reaching out to residents to establish an ideal, community-friendly circuit that will transport people to areas in the city with limited transportation options.

To allow residents the opportunity to offer input on the route, an outreach meeting is scheduled 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday in the Mountain View City Hall Council Chambers, 500 Castro St..

“The community shuttle is only possible through a generous contribution from Google to fulfill a long-desired community goal to have a shuttle for residents and to reduce single-occupancy-vehicle trips in Mountain View,” said City Manager Dan Rich.

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