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Metro seeks companies for ‘shared employer shuttle’ pilot

A Microsoft bus (Image: CHS)

If you can’t beat them, join them. King County Metro is looking to form a consortium of “two to five employers” to form a “shared employer shuttle” pilot.

“Metro is exploring these partnerships to find new ways to connect people to transit service and provide customers with mobility options,” Metro GM Rob Gannon said.

The one-year pilot seeks to band together a group of employers somewhere in the county for a Metro shuttle program to transport employees to their jobs and homes. “Only workers at those companies would be eligible to ride shared shuttles,” the Metro notice on the call for proposals reads.

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The first round of proposals will be accepted through April 3. After that, Metro says it will review each proposal “to ensure the service is safe and complements Metro’s fixed route network” —

Metro intends to collaborate with interested parties to develop the best solution possible. If a proposal is not accepted upon first review, Metro will provide technical feedback with the option of resubmitting an updated proposal for additional review.

On Capitol Hill, the tech shuttles are ubiquitous, traveling the neighborhood’s streets as they stop to gather groups of workers that silently form at predetermined pick-up points. In 2014, anti-gentrification protesters targeted the shuttles as part of a “hierarchical and competitive corporate culture was a nightmare to be avoided at all costs.” By 2016, Microsoft sported the most robust corporate shuttle network across the Hill with the Redmond-based giant running larger and more frequent buses back and forth across 520.

Metro says it will seek “proposals that complement and not duplicate” existing transit routes and schedules. “Proposals should be targeted to riders who would experience considerable travel time savings,” the agency writes.

Proposals will also will be reviewed for:

  • Names of the service provider and companies participating in the shared employer shuttle service
  • Proposed routes, stop locations, and schedules
  • ADA accessibility solutions
  • Insurance and indemnification provisions
  • Data-sharing agreement

Metro will work with jurisdictions, “including the City of Seattle,” to handle right-of-way and curb space issues. You can learn more on Metro’s Shared Employer Shuttle website.


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2 thoughts on “Metro seeks companies for ‘shared employer shuttle’ pilot

  1. As long as they don’t use the public bus stops, meh. Private busses shouldn’t ever be allowed to use the public bus stops. Also, there should be some sort of limits on what streets those huge charter shuttle buses drive down.

  2. I’m optimistic about this pilot. Tech companies cluster so closely together that it’s ridiculous to run company-specific shuttles. I’d like to see more general mass transit, but it’s not reasonable to expect, say, a Capitol Hill-to-Fremont express bus from Metro anytime soon.