Back when I was a dot.com consultant, my employer ("The Firm") did a similar thing for Silicon Valley employees commuting up to SF every day. They enlisted a limo service to run the shuttle, and the idea was that the office would bill each employee's (er, "colleague") project $5 or $7 or whatever. Still cheaper than gas+parking in the City, of course. Pickup at 7am in the Valley, return shuttle leaves SF at 7pm. Nice way to ensure you get 10-12 hour days out of your employees, huh?
The shuttle was supposed to be a plain 10-passenger van, like the kind used for vanpools.
But the limo company would usually try to combine trips, and most days the "shuttle" would be a full-blown stretch limo, because the driver would have another appt at SFO or in the City or wherever. Sometimes they'd send the "Party Bus", a parking lot-shuttle bus outfitted with big screen TV, minibar, and disco balls.
During the dot.com downturn, the number of employees dwindled, and sometimes I'd find myself the only one on the "shuttle" each day. I felt like Donald Trump after a while, arriving in style at my hi-rise SF office tower, laptop in hand, in my sleek stretch limo.
Talk about your dot.com excesses. But it was the limo company's choice to send us a limo instead of the vanpool rig, and I'd say we did reduce the environmental damage we'd have caused by driving up separately.
I wonder what the Googlebus looks like--do they paint the sides with the Google logo? On one hand, that would be a nice huge moving billboard. On the other hand, it would be a big target for a terrorist or sulking competitor (Mr. Jeeves, I presume?).