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Google Buses Fuel Inequality Debate as Boom Inflates Rents: Tech

Peter Seto wakes up at 5:30 a.m., drinks a cup of coffee and makes the 18-minute cross-town commute to San Francisco’s waterfront. There, he hops in the driver’s seat of a 45-foot luxury coach outfitted with tinted windows, plush seats, TVs and wireless Internet to chauffeur a bus full of programmers around the Bay Area.

Seto, 60, is benefiting from the burgeoning technology industry as part of a growing cadre of bus drivers chaperoning employees to Google Inc., Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. and other companies. Yet, his $50,000 annual pay is hardly luxurious in a city where software engineers just out of college can expect more than twice that and are fueling a boom that has sent median home prices skyrocketing past $850,000.