Grist has been running a fantastic series on Seattle. You’ve probably seen one or two of the pieces show up in your social feed, but if not, the whole series is worth your time.
One piece in particular wonders whether Amazon’s SLU campus is the future of the office park. I was nodding vigorously in agreement as I read it (having had similar thoughts in the past), but there was one passage that stuck out:
There are no company buses shuttling workers into and out of the neighborhood. But its main employers (Amazon, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Group Health, and a University of Washington biotech and research hub) all pay extra money to have the streetcar line down Westlake Avenue run every 10 minutes during rush hour instead of every 15.
While it is indeed great that SLU employers fund the streetcar, Amazon (and UW) do make use of shuttle vans. Some of these shuttles simply help employees get from building to building in a sprawling campus (a necessity for large employers spread out over many buildings), while others are more of a last-mile commuter affair, taking employees to campus from Colman Dock or King Street Station. You can view the routes here (or download the app!).
The last-mile nature of Amazon’s commuter shuttles, though, suggests a stopgap measure. If and when our various transit agencies provide adequate service into SLU (the proposed Westlake transit lanes and the Center City Connector are a start), Amazon could presumably cut back.