It’s no secret that Google’s colorful employee bicycles often go missing — but until now the scope of the problem was largely unknown outside the Mountain View tech giant.
Last summer, it emerged that some of the company’s bikes — intended to help Googlers move quickly and in environmentally friendly fashion around the company’s sprawling campus and surrounding areas — were sleeping with the fishes in Stevens Creek.
And now, a new report has revealed that 100 to 250 Google bikes go missing every week, on average.
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“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.
And for the company, here’s one Google bike use case that’s got to burn a little: 68-year-old Sharon Veach told the newspaper that she sometimes uses one of the bicycles as part of her commute: to the offices of Google’s arch foe, Oracle.
Google doesn’t really want non-Googlers using the bikes, “but it’s OK if you do,” Veach explained.
Mountain View Mayor Ken Rosenberg even admitted to helping himself to a Google bike to go to a movie after a meeting at the company’s campus, according to the WSJ (paywall).