If you’re up in our greater Seattle area, to join the notorious Microsoft family, and you’re looking for a place to settle down, you’ll be interested in a few facts that I’ve run across. Data from late 2007 shows that Microsoft employees live in the following areas:
- Redmond (21%)
- Seattle (17%)
- Bellevue (8%)
- Sammamish (8%)
- Kirkland (7%)
- Bothell/Kenmore/Woodinville (7%)
- Issaquah (4%)
- Other (22%)
It’s interesting that about one-fifth of Seattle area employees live and work in the Redmond area, which is probably about a 15 minute commute in from most parts of Redmond. Almost as many make the great commute over the 520 bridge, which is about a 30 minute commute in no traffic (like on a Sunday morning), or closer to an hour or significantly longer, if you’re very unlucky. Slightly more than one third (36%) live in surrounding Eastside areas, including Bellevue, Sammamish, Kirkland, Woodinville, and Issaquah, which are all about 30 minutes out.
In the fall of 2007, Microsoft gave birth to the Connector bus, its own bus service to provide employees with transportation from these various population hubs into the Redmond campus. Surely you must have seen one of these cushy, Wi-Fi enabled buses whiz past you on the road! Though the program started with 14 shuttle buses running, the program has been so successsful that Microsoft just extended its service, now providing transportation to even more areas. According to Microsoft:
- Of the 1,900 unique riders in November 2007, 61 percent said their previous commuting method was single-occupancy vehicle (SOV). That’s 1,159 SOVs off the road!
- Each employee riding the Connector will reduce about 30 pounds of carbon emissions each day and nearly 5.5 tons annually.
- Greenhouse-gas emissions are reduced as a result of employees taking 800 fewer car trips and driving 32,200 fewer miles each day, or 200,000 fewer car trips and more than eight million vehicle miles annually.
It’s a brilliant idea, I think! Aside from the green benefits of the Connector bus, Microsoft has figured out a way to get an extra 2 hours of work time out of its employees!