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Commuting to the South Bay on the Company Shuttle
I've searched the archives and can't find much info on what it's like to commute on one of the shuttles to Silicon Valley (specifically Apple, Google or Yahoo). My husband recently interviewed with one of those companies and would likely be commuting on their shuttle. We live close to one of the pickup points so he wouldn't have to drive to get there. Oh and we've got 2 small children (1 and 3 years old). Do people find the commute fairly easy? Is it possible to take a later shuttle in and early shuttle back, and actually work on the bus? How much did it change your family life if you previously had a shorter commute (say 40 min door-to- door). Do you have recommendations that would make it easier on the commuter or family? Thanks! want to stay in the East Bay as long as possible
The commute itself is not as bad as I feared it would be. He gets lots of work done on the bus. He takes the 8:15am bus in the morning and either a 4:00 or 5:00 bus home. It does sometimes seem to make scheduling meetings difficult and he ends up having to call into meetings which is a bit challenging or he has to take an early/late bus. But, he has A LOT of meetings -- almost all day every day. So, that might not matter as much depending on your husband's job description. Overall, most days he leaves just before 8 and is home between 5:45 and 6:45, which doesn't seem that different than a lot of jobs, even ones with short commutes.
Before he took the job, he asked to see the shuttle schedule so he could see what his options would be. It turns out, though, that it makes a little more sense for him to hop in the car and get on the bus at a park and ride in Alameda rather than at Ashby. Even though it seems silly, it buys us about 10-15 minutes in the morning (so he can eat with the family) and then he can get home faster than having to go to two more stops with the bus in the evening.
This job has changed our family life enormously for the worse, but that has to do with the terrible work/life balance (compared to a very flexible prior job). Some days I feel like a single parent. I can't really blame the commute though, since he works the entire time he's on the bus and works through the evening at home! Good Luck, Not leaving the east bay
If he can ask to see a copy of the schedules before he accepts the job offer, it can be very helpful to get a real sense of what his day will look like. And plan to tack on extra time for the ride at least a few days a month when there's a bad accident or weather.
At my company, the shuttles are speedier if you work in a building that's the first dropoff and last pickup on the route so you don't have to spend 15 minutes riding around campus. My team recently moved to a different campus with a greatly reduced shuttle schedule with only one a day for the East Bay now. So that's a bummer -- it doesn't get home until 7 and I have a new baby, so it's not an option. Also, the rides are faster if you take a late shuttle down (like 9:30 a.m. or later) and a really late one home (after 7 p.m.). If you do normal commute hours, the ride can be 1.25 - 2 hours each way.
Can't comment on the other two companies, but yes, at mine, it's definitely possible to get work done on the shuttle. If you're not prone to carsickness and you don't mind an airplane-like environment in terms of personal space, you can get a lot done without distraction. How acceptable it is to spend a good chunk of your work day on the bus rather than in the office will depend on the specific team and the company.
The shuttles can be a great advantage and they're a total luxury, but after 2+ years of riding one and 6+ years of living in the EB and working in the Peninsula/Silicon Valley, I'd personally prefer to just work close to home or at home, and not spend so much time in traffic, whether I'm driving or not. Good luck! extreme commuter
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