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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Dash Trash Tales vol. 3

The Connector is a really great service that Microsoft offers to its employees. For those who don’t know, the traffic in the Seattle metro area sucks. We’ve got Bellevue, Seattle, Redmond, and other cities all surrounded by lakes. And the original planners didn’t account for the massive amount of people who now live in the area. We have bridges over the lakes, two north-south interstates, and most of the side roads don’t go anywhere. So, what might be a short distance takes forever due to all the traffic. Depending on the study, Seattle usually ends up in the top 10 for worst traffic in the U.S.

Microsoft, for some also not well thought out reason, decided to build its small city/corporate campus in Redmond, a city east of everything with no good roads to get to it. And, since they now employee about 40,000 employees and almost as many contractors and venders, traffic to and from the offices gets backed up.

A few years ago Microsoft started offering the Connector- its own bus service. The King county and other regional bus services usually involve transfers, waits, and people who have body odor. The Microsoft Bus stops as far north as Snohomish, multiple locations throughout Seattle, east to Issaquah, and down south. The buses usually only stop once or twice, they have deals with local businesses (usually churches) to provide parking for employees, the buses are nice quality, have wi-fi, and get people to work quicker as the buses can use the carpool lanes.

As previously mentioned the Connector is a great benefit of working for Microsoft. And that alone is almost worth taking a full time job. The reason a person would need a full time job is it’s a service is only offered to employees. Employees must reserve a seat on the bus, and swipe there badge to get on the bus. Contractors and venders are not allowed. Contractors and venders get to sit in traffic and watch the bus cruise on past them as they sit stuck in traffic. Or, of course, take the city/county bus services.



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