This is something that the county bus system should be doing and they're not," said Stephen Gerritson, executive director for Commuter Challenge, a Seattle non-profit. "To some extent, Metro is dropping the ball here."Really? Well I guess the question is what is a good corporate citizen? Obviously Microsoft chose to locate their campus in a sprawling area instead of in the city which has the most commuting options. To me it doesn't seem to be a problem of the county bus system but rather of businesses that decide to locate in unsustainable locals. I have this same problem with Dell in Austin or Chevron in the Bay Area. They located out into nowheresville for cheap land but what they really did is transfer transportation costs onto their employees, specifically employees who wanted a different lifestyle than the auto-oriented trash that we see today. Does anyone wonder why young professionals flock to certain cities like San Francisco, New York, or Seattle? I'll give you a hint, its not to live in Redmond Washington or San Ramon California so they can be closer to their work campus.
This same idea can be applied for people who live in sprawl. Cheaper house? Well pay more for transportation. A study by the Center for Housing Policy showed that for every dollar saved on moving further out, a 70 cent transportation increase was had. We don't seem to let those folks off the hook for their choices so why should we let Microsoft off the hook for theirs? While hard to do now because of their entrenchment in Redmond, what would really help is a move closer to the transportation spines of the region or the creation of a new dense city like center with light rail access to Seattle. People shouldn't blame the County bus for not wanting or being able to incur $2.4 million in operating costs to serve one company, specifically a company who chose an inaccessible area.