Facebook offers $10,000 to workers who move within 10 miles of campus

Facebook has joined other companies in Silicon Valley by offering its workers cash to move closer to work.

The benefit, reported by Reuters, has come as commutes from San Francisco and the East Bay to the valley have increased. What was once a 60-minute drive is now 90 minutes.

Facebook’s decision to put its headquarters at the old Sun campus in Menlo Park — basically in the middle of the bay — and then build a second giant office at the same location set it on a collision course with geography and commuting patterns.

With more workers wanting to live in San Francisco and the East Bay, as I have written, Facebook’s headquarters presents a logistics problem.

The social networking firm is not close to a rail line, nor can you get there by water.

The company experimented with a ferry service to Redwood City. But then the drive from Redwood City to Menlo Park is no picnic.

Yes, Facebook workers do take the shuttle or car pool together in vans, but that means they are also on the roads.

Other companies, such as Box, have moved closer to rail lines — or into San Francisco — because they want to attract workers who want to live there, as I’ve reported.

“Our benefits at Facebook are designed to support our employees and the people who matter most to them at all stages of life,” a Facebook spokesman said.

The housing benefit, which Facebook began to offer in the past 12 months, will likely affect rental and home prices on the Peninsula, particularly in places such as East Menlo Park and East Palo Alto, Reuters said. Locals refer the newcomers to the area “los Facebuqueros,” whether or not they work for Facebook.

“A lot of local families are going to get hurt,” John Liotti, chief executive officer of East Palo Alto community advocacy group Able Works, told Reuters.

Updated with a statement from Facebook. 

Above: Hikers walk along a trail in Bay Front Park toward Facebook’s office park on the sprawling baylands Monday, June 2, 2014, in Menlo Park. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)


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  • Kenneth_Brown

    By locating a company in the Bay area or Silicon Valley, many high tech companies are dooming their employees to renting forever and spending a large percentage of their monthly income on housing. While $10,000 is nothing to sneer at, it’s just a drop in the bay when it comes to housing near San Francisco.

    • David

      Yeah, it’s such a shame they pay their employees only $10,000 as an incentive to move closer to a job they willfully took. It should be a law that you have to pay your employees, like, $1 million as a signing bonus for housing.

      Oh, but wait, then you would complain about how that would drive up the cost of housing for other people. In short, Facebook should have to give every family in America $1 million for attempting to exist, right? Is that fair to you?

  • David

    East Palo Alto–not too long ago–was the murder capital of America. It’s such a shame it’s been going through a transformative state. Life was so much better when it was cheaper, full of violent crime, right author?

  • Cigar Smoker

    Another reason for Redwood City rents to rise, including the unincorporated sections, all within 10 miles of Facebook.

  • Lafayette Escadrill

    Why doesn’t Facebook just buy the peninsula??

  • Eli

    Actually, Facebook is right next to a rail line that’s been there for decades (and which connects to Caltrain in Redwood City).

    It’s just inactive and needs to be fixed up.