Employers in the Seattle area are outpacing City Hall in providing incentives to employees not to drive to work in single occupancy cars. A state law even requires companies with 100 or more commuters to provide alternative commuting plans.
"Feeling the pinch at the gas pump, local workers and employers are not waiting for City Hall, the federal government or OPEC to ease the pressure. Instead, they are creating their own networks of commuter alternatives, from private buses to van pools to free bikes.
On Monday, Children's Hospital & Regional Medical Center debuted a shuttle service running five 14-passenger vans every 15 minutes to connect its downtown offices, Laurelhurst main hospital and Sand Point campus to the downtown bus tunnel.
High gas prices make people more curious about alternative ways of getting to work, said Children's transportation-policy and planning manager Paulo Nunes-Ueno. 'When that curiosity comes up,' he said, 'we want to be able to answer that.'
Like other employers, Children's has hired specialists to counsel employees on their commuting options - Nunes-Ueno affectionately calls them "transportation therapists." So far, they have mapped out personalized commuter itineraries for 650 of Children's 4,000 employees."