John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Pretty please with sugar on top?
I know you're also considering other, less-adorable options to get commuters to your swelling global headquarters, like a giant pay-parking lot or rows of housing barracks. Why do you hate fun things? A network of driverless, electrically powered pods is clearly the way to go. Look at how overjoyed people are riding inside Disney's own people mover. Now imagine the morale boost your employees will get riding the Magic Kingdom Express, twice every day.
Yaaay! (Source: Ultra Global)
Sure, only a handful of U.S. cities (five to be exact) currently operate people movers after their brief urban popularity in the '70s. And it's true that the folks of Mountain View will be stuck with this thing long after you relocate to a future Googleplex, perhaps on the face of the Sun. But just think of the ridiculous grins slapped onto the faces of anybody who sees a Google worker whizzing to work in one of these teensy-weensy capsules, like a corpuscle happily making its way to the heart. Imagine not trying to chase after it and playfully picking it up and shaking it all around in the air, if that's at all possible (I sure hope so)!
Heathrow Airport uses these Global Ultra PRT Pods, and look at all the positive attention they've received. First place in the 2012 British Parking Awards, baby. Isn't that what your company's all about – dominating the competitors with the power of innovation? With a system of personal people movers, Mountain View will join the ranks of forward-thinking cities that have embraced the monorail despite its widespread disuse, including Miami, Detroit, Irving, Texas, and Morgantown, West Virginia. Wait... scrap those last three. Miami is still a happenin' place, right?
Google, make this happen. Give the public what it craves.
Failing that, please buy 1,000 BOXX scooters and make everybody ride them around the office.