Around four years ago, people started attacking the shuttle buses that took Google employees to and from work, as a way of protesting the tech-company-driven gentrification taking place around San Francisco. Well, it seems to be happening again.
This time it’s not just Google (GOOGL)—it’s Apple’s charter buses too. At least five of the iPhone-maker’s shuttles have recently had their windows smashed while in transit. According to an email sent to Apple staff, the first attack took place last Friday, followed by four more on Tuesday.
It’s suspected that someone is shooting out the windows using pellet guns, or perhaps throwing rocks. The attacks took place on highway 280, so Apple (AAPL) is diverting its buses from that road, even though doing so will add 30-45 minutes to the commute time in either direction.
A Google bus was also attacked on the same road on Tuesday, SFGate reported. Google, too, is rerouting its shuttles from the highway as a result.
According to California Highway Patrol spokesman Art Montiel, cited in SFGate’s coverage, the attacks all took place while the buses were occupied and moving. However, no injuries have been reported.
The buses were not marked with the logos of the companies that chartered them. However, according to a Guardian report, the companies are identifiable by the colors of the buses: white for Google, silver for Apple and blue for Facebook (FB).
“If someone was targeting the buses, I’m sure they are going to find them anywhere they go. It’s not like they are hidden,” the report quoted Montiel as saying.
The protests that took place in 2013 and 2014 were prompted by gentrification in the Bay Area, due to the high salaries of tech company employees, and also by anger over surveillance and automation.