Amazon Launches Dedicated Bus Service in Seattle

Amazon Launches Dedicated Bus Service in Seattle

The news that Amazon has launched a dedicated bus service may not be as exciting as rumors that they are testing drones for same-day delivery, but it’s certainly big news for commuters who work for the enormous company in Seattle.

 

Recently, Amazon began offering private shuttles to its employees that are scheduled to run six times in the morning and six times in the evening, with a bus arriving to pick up employees about every twenty minutes. The program is called “Amazon Ride,” and it will shuttle up to 26,000 passengers from Redmond, Issaquah and Bellevue to Amazon’s two Seattle locations – the offices at South Lake Union Campus as well as the company headquarters, located in downtown Seattle.

The creation of this shuttle service is perhaps a reaction to the fact that Seattle was named the fourth most congested city in the United States by TomTom Traffic Index. Amazon could also be signaling an attempt to keep up with similar perks offered by major tech companies like Microsoft, which also offers an employee shuttle service.

Amazon released a statement, saying, “Our employees tell us that they love being in the heart of the city. In fact, more than 50% of our employees get to work without a car. We are continually looking for ways to build a more sustainable urban campus and this pilot is another opportunity to do so.”

Riders will have to reserve their spot on the bus ahead of time, though there’s a program for guaranteeing a ride home in the event that you have an emergency or need to work late. Good news for traffic in Seattle, and great news if you’re an Amazon employee—we’re curious to see how this endeavor will factor into the city’s public transportation sector as well.

For more information, or to check out any of the buses on our lot, contact us today at 1-800-231-7099.

Voters Across the Country Vote in Favor of Public Transit

Voters Across the Country Vote in Favor of Public Transit

On November 8, millions of American citizens headed to the polls to vote for their preferred presidential and congressional candidates. But political offices weren’t the only things at stake in this election. In many states, voters also voted on a wide variety of ballot measures that covered everything from marijuana legalization to minimum wage increases. There were also a record number of ballot proposals that allotted funds for infrastructure improvements to public transportation systems—48 ballot measure in total. Altogether, these public transit ballot proposals were worth about $200 billion.

When all the votes were counted, 33 of those 48 ballot measures were approved.

The American Public Transportation Association is healing these results as a big win in a country whose mass transit infrastructure has been in desperate need of improvement for decades. With billions of dollars now set aside for public transit expansions and improvements, American cities will finally be able to make long-overdue upgrades to their transit systems.

In Seattle, for example, the Sound Transit 3 proposition will spend roughly $54 billion over 25 years to expand the city’s bus and train routes. In Los Angeles, a similar ballot measure is expected to raise $120 billion for light rail extensions and bus service improvements over the next four decades. LA’s ballot measure will also set aside funds to make the city more accessible to bicyclists and pedestrians. In Atlanta, $2.5 billion will be set aside to improve the city’s light rail system. You can find the complete list of public transit ballot measures here.

It will be exciting to see how this huge influx of money will change America’s public transit systems in the coming years. At Northwest Bus sales, we’ll be here to provide municipal transit authorities and private companies with the vehicles they need to update and expand their fleets. Give us a call today to learn more.

Meet Seattle’s Bus-Riding Dog

Last year, Seattle’s Metro Transit system set an all-time ridership record with 120 million people taking trips on the city’s buses. Among these riders was a short, hairy, four-legged and remarkably independent patron who took frequent solo rides to the local dog park. Eclipse, the two-year-old black lab mix who regularly goes on solo adventures on the bus, has become a welcome addition to the city’s thriving transit system.
 
“All the bus drivers know her,” said fellow rider Tiona Rainwater in an interview with local Seattle TV news station KOMO. “She makes everybody happy. How could you not love this face?”
 
The dog’s owner, Jeff Young, explains that Eclipse is a city slicker through and through, and has been riding the bus on her own since she was young. “We get separated. She gets on the bus without me, and I catch up with her at the dog park,” said Young. Since she’s started riding alone, Eclipse has become a regular fixture of many bus riders’ morning commutes.
 
Young appreciates that the rides are not only fun for Eclipse, but for the two-legged patrons on the city buses as well. “It makes their day,” said Young in the interview with KOMO. “It’s a good part of their day and it works out for her so I just let it go.”
 
You can see Eclipse in action in this news segment about the dog from earlier this year. Check it out for yourself here!