Leaked Memo on Google Bus Think

A tech bus rides down Valencia Street. Photo by Lydia Chávez.

Valley Wag reports on a leaked memo that tells Google employees what to think about the buses.

Here are the talking points for employees who feel the urge to speak up at tomorrow’s SFMTA meeting:

If you do choose to speak in favor of the proposal we thought you might appreciate some guidance on what to say. Feel free to add your own style and opinion.

  • *I am so proud to live in San Francisco and be a part of this community
  • *I support local and small businesses in my neighborhood on a regular basis
  • *My shuttle empowers my colleagues and I to reduce our carbon emissions by removing cars from the road
  • *If the shuttle program didn’t exist, I would continue to live in San Francisco and drive to work on the peninsula
  • *I am a shuttle rider, SF resident, and I volunteer at…..
  • *Because of the above, I urge the Board to adopt this pilot as a reasonable step in the right direction  

Filed under: Mobile, Today's Mission

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  1. Kaliman

    A few words on the leaked memo:


  2. jeff burwell

    going against the grain of what seems to be popular opinion around here, I want to say that I do not mind the busses so much. Its occasionally irritating but for the most part not. We can not forget that what makes this city great is that we embrace creative free thinking people and industry and google may be one of the best example of the success and that philosophy Google and its employees are not to blame for the fact that we simply do not have enough housing to support which may be the strongest industry in the country. Maybe you can blame the city planners of SF for years of anti growth policy. Google and the other Biggies here bring in billions to our economy. who cares about the busses?!? Personally i would be bankrupt if our economy was more like many other cities after the recession. Less cars, more money. I say lets embrace the f-ing google busses and try and solve the bigger problems

  3. Fran Taylor

    “My shuttle empowers my colleagues and I to reduce our carbon emissions by removing cars from the road”

    Doesn’t anyone at Google even know correct grammar?

    • John

      Fran, would you have said “my colleagues and me”?

      That would be wrong, since the phrase identifies the subject of the sentence, and not the object.

      • Gramm

        John. The subject of the sentence is shuttle. The verb is empowers. The object of the verb is colleagues and me. Just as the sentence, “The shuttle empowers me,” is correct, the sentence, “My shuttle empowers me,” is also correct. Finally, “my shuttle empowers us,” is correct. The Google talking point is not correct as written.

        • John

          Gramm, that overlooks the fact that it’s a compound sentence, and therefore has two subjects and two objects or predicates (since neither verbal phrase is intransitive”).

          So, decomposing the sentence into it’s logical form we have:

          The shuttle empowers X, where X is the sentence that “my colleagues and I reduce emissions by removing cars from the road”.

          In that second statement, X is the subject and “reduce emissions by removing cars from the road” is the predicate.

          And before you add a further nitpick, it could be argued that it’s really three sentences i.e.

          1) The shuttle empowers X.
          2) X reduces emissions
          3) Emissions are reduced by removing cars.

          • landline

            Gramm is right; John is wrong. Simplify the sentence to “My shuttle empowers us (or we) to reduce our carbon emissions by removing cars from the road.” to make the sentence structure more clear.

            As Gramm wrote, my colleagues and me is the object, not the subject, of the sentence. My shuttle empowers we to reduce… sounds nonsensical because it is so grammatically incorrect that our brains trained in the proper use of English reject it. Perhaps Noam Chomsky can chime in–Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy? or Is The Man Who Tall Is Happy?

          • Gramm

            John, Please reference logic and grammar. It is not a compound sentence. Please look up the definition. There is only one subject and one object. Analyzing the sentence: Subject, Verb, Object, modified by infinitive and adverbial phrases. Your response does give me certain insight. Bye-bye John.

          • John

            We can agree to disagree on what is in any event a trivial point. I think either phrasing is fine.

            The more important point is that these talking points have shown us that there really isn’t a problem with these shuttles, and that their riders are engaged, committed city residents who contribute a lot. Moreover there are powerful environmental benefits from people taking buses rather than cars.

            With the advent of a deal with SFMTA, this topic is now done.

          • landline

            Have you ever been wrong or admitted an error, especially one as obvious as this one?

            Me finished now.

          • John

            I’ve admitted being wrong as many times as you have.

  4. TomMurphy

    Ron Conway and tech money own SF now. I get a something-like $300 ticket for simply stopping in a muni bus zone. And I work for muni; I drive a taxi.

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