At its Mountain View Campus in California, Google offers a veritable fleet of on-campus bikes for its employees to use in getting from one building to the next. The concept was pioneered in 2008, when it first introduced its beach cruiser-like GBikes. Last fall, Google began an employee-wide competition, asking its people to create a design for the new GBike that would have just four design critera, according to this CNET article:
“The bike had to be easy to produce. It needed to be affordable. The bike had to be both comfortable and secure. And, in a nod to its culture, the bike had to be Googley, using novel components, structure, and appearance.”
“We’ve got an entrepreneurial and innovative culture,” said Brendon Harrington, Google’s transportation operations manager. “We said, ‘You tell us what you think is a cool design.'”
In the midst of several dozen submitted designs, those which included a BMX-style ride as well as a high-wheel penny-farthing, the company chose to go with a beach cruiser style model, painted Google-style and replete with a bell and a classic handlebar basket. The company plans to order around one thousand of the bikes in the hopes that whenever one of the more than 10,000 employees needs a ride to cruise from one part of campus to the next, a GBike will be in waiting.
As many would agree, Google is a relatively innovative company in of itself, but we think it’s seriously commendable that it offers up an easy, excuse-free way for its employees to ride to and fro while at work. What’s more, we think it sets a pretty good example for other large companies — those with campuses the size of a state university — to potentially begin offering bike perks to its employees in the (hopefully) near future, too .
PHOTO Via: CNET
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