Microsoft has been awarded the 2019 ACT TDM Excellence Award for an Employer for its work in transforming the future of commuting for Microsoft-bound commuters within the Puget Sound region. The mission of the company’s Real Estate & Facilities group is to enable every employee to achieve more through the delivery of connected, accessible, and sustainable workplaces supported by flexible and reliable commute solutions.
In line with this vision, Microsoft aims to continue to partner with local transit agencies to implement solutions that are sustainable, easy for employees to use, and support the pedestrian-friendly design of the soon-to-be modernized East Campus.
As the fourth-largest employer in Washington, Microsoft employs over 53,500 people statewide and is committed to reshape the ways in which its employees and visitors commute to and from its Puget sound locations.
Latest results show that Microsoft’s drive alone rate has decreased to 54% with the company aiming to further reduce that number to 50%, especially when the Redmond Technology Link light rail station on campus begins operation in 2023.
Between 2018 and 2019, carpooling increased amongst employees by more than any other commute option to 10%. This growth in carpooling was achieved after Microsoft’s introduction of Scoop to employees in May 2018. This translates to over 550 new carpoolers in the past year and has reduced over 220,000 vehicle miles traveled.
Microsoft also has one of the largest vanpool programs in the country, with over 325 vans serving 1,779 employees, who each receive a $115 monthly subsidy.
Roughly 13% of Microsoft’s Puget Sound employees regularly take Connector or Shuttle to work, the company’s bus service providing 5,300 rides a day. Launched in 2007, the Connector has grown from 5 routes to 25 routes and is now operating 90 buses. The Connector buses are equipped with Wi-Fi, AC power, bike racks, and a few are even equipped with X-Boxes – transforming the commute into an easy, comfortable, and fun experience, while joining other commute programs to help reduce congestion in the Puget Sound area.
The company goes even further with its commuter benefits, offering employees and its vendors fully subsidized ORCA transit passes, which provides unlimited rides on buses, trains, vanpools, monorail, and water taxis. Employees also get up to six Guaranteed Ride Home vouchers per year and carpoolers and vanpoolers enjoy preferential parking on campus and ride matching support.
Microsoft also encourages active commuting, offering secure bike cages, lockers, showers, towel service, and compensation programs for the cost of purchasing and maintaining bikes.
“We are so grateful to accept this award! Every day our team strives to elevate the Microsoft employee experience through a robust mobility program that provides innovative, flexible, and reliable solutions,” said Elisabeth Kaczmarek, Sr. Services Manager, Puget Sound Campus Operations. “We couldn’t provide an amazing Commute Program and do what we do without others. A huge thank you to our employees, partners, public agencies and communities for their partnership and continued support! Receiving the TDM Award not only reinforces our corporate mission, it also showcases the positive impacts every one of our Commute programs can have on the Puget Sound region.”
Microsoft is ahead of the curve on Washington State commute regulations and is committed to providing employees safe, convenient, and comfortable options to driving alone to foster a more sustainable and positive workplace environment.