What Seattle’s largest employers say about commuting around town
You can’t deny that the city of Seattle is growing. Some may say it’s on the brink of becoming a world class international destination. And as someone who grew up here, I think to myself: Hasn’t it always been an international destination?
As the city grows, the amount of people driving and parking downtown grows right along with it. The conversation at the coffee stand starts to sound like a Jay Z song you never heard: More People, More Traffic, More Problems.
We reached out to a couple of Seattle’s major employers who are luring employees into the downtown Seattle area, just to see what they tell their people about the area’s transportation issues.
Amazon sells stuff, like, all of the stuff. The online store has more than 20,000 employees working at the headquarters in South Lake Union.
“One way in which we invest in our employees is by investing in this city. Seattle is the right place for us,” said Sam Kennedy from Amazon. “We could have saved a lot of money by moving to the suburbs of Seattle, but we have chosen instead to build an urban campus and invest heavily in this city.”
• More than 70 percent of Amazon employees live in the city of Seattle.
• 55 percent of “Amazonians” commute to work in ways other than driving, and 20 percent of those commuters get to work by walking.
• Amazon offers a number of parking options that vary in cost to employees.
• Amazon purchased ORCA cards for employees to use public transit, as well as purchasing and funding the operations of a fourth Seattle Streetcar.
Amazon also touts its unique retail space on the ground floor of all buildings; public spaces nearby, such as an outdoor dog park; playing fields; a shared-use street that’s designed to be great for pedestrians as well as cars; art installations; covered public walkways and other amenities.
Zillow sells houses online, most likely to the Amazon employees mentioned above.
Zillow Group’s headquarters are located in the Russell Investment Center downtown — 1301 2nd Ave. — where they have roughly 1,000 employees.
• Zillow provides all of its employees with a free ORCA card to be used for all modes of public transportation.
• Bike lockers are also available in the building’s garage with showers for employee use in its fitness center.
• A total of 70 percent of Zillow Group employees get to work via public transit, carpool or walking.
The employers we spoke to all seem with say the same thing — they love Seattle and they try to do what they can to educate their employees about how to handle our unique traffic and parking problems.