In Seattle – one of the fastest-growing major cities in the United States – transportation support is quickly becoming a major initiative for companies in the battle to recruit and retain talent. At Microsoft’s corporate headquarters in suburban Redmond, the company has proactively sought ways to mitigate traffic congestion and support both the mobility (and sanity) of its employees.

Managed by the Real Estate & Facilities team, the company’s program has spent the last decade crafting out of-the-box commuter solutions for its employees in an area where public transportation doesn’t always serve all locations optimally. Each day, more than 44,400 full-time Microsoft employees and contingent staff commute to the 500-acre campus from dozens of surrounding cities.

Earlier today at CoreNet Global’s Seattle Summit, Brian Crockford, CFM, MRICS, Senior Services Manager, Microsoft Real Estate & Facilities, gave an overview of the Connector bus program.

“Over the last decade, the program has saved $15 million in fuel costs for employees, cut 7 million vehicle trips, and eliminated 104 million pounds of carbon emissions,” Brian reported. “We now have 110 buses in the fleet, and it’s the third-largest bus fleet in the state of Washington.”

Microsoft increased its Connector bus ridership 19 percent last year. Today, an average of 4,300 employees ride the Connector to and from work each day, up from 3,600 a year ago.

Now that the initial goal of reducing the Single Occupancy Vehicle (“SOV”) rate at the Redmond campus to 60% has been exceeded, the team is delivering innovative ways to drive down the SOV rate even further.