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Google employees lose nearly 250 Gbikes a week: Report

The company recently equipped about a third of its 1,100 bikes with GPS trackers, which revealed that the two-wheelers take an average 12 trips and travel six miles a day

IANS  |  San Francisco 

Google, bicycle, Gbikes
Google's Gbikes

giant loses between 100 and 250 of its colourful employee bicycles a week from its campus, the media reported.

maintains roughly 1,100 free, two-wheelers with yellow frames, red baskets and green and blue wheels, known as Gbikes, for its employees to get around its sprawling campus.

However, according to company estimates, its bikes consistently go missing from its campus-between 100 and 250 a week, typically costing $100 to $300.

The bikes have shown up at local schools, in neighbours' lawns, at the bottom of the town creek and on the roof of a sports pub.

"The disappearances often aren't the work of ordinary thieves, however. Many residents of Mountain View, a city of 80,000 that has effectively become Google's company town, see the employee perk as a community service," the Wall Street Journal reported on January 5.

A decade ago, started Silicon Valley's first corporate bike programme, which was adopted by at least 16 others across the US, including at Apple, Facebook, and Walmart, the report said.

The company recently equipped about a third of its 1,100 bikes with GPS trackers, which revealed that the two-wheelers take an average 12 trips and travel six miles a day.

It now also has a team of 30 contractors and five vans who are tasked with retrieving They carry waders and grappling hooks for pulling bikes out of a creek.

Still, isn't entirely sure how many bikes it loses outright. From July to November, recovered between 70 and 190 bikes a week, or roughly two-thirds of the bikes reported off campus. The other third wasn't there when contractors arrived to retrieve them, the report said.

is also testing versions that employees could unlock with their

According to managers, reducing thefts is a struggle because they often cannot tell whether riders are among the company's employees or not.

 

First Published: Sun, January 07 2018. 17:59 IST
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