Just how big of an impact does Amazon have on Seattle? Big. Not only on the economy and real estate market but also for transportation. The company’s summer intern program has added so many users to the bus system that King County Metro is adding extra buses.
According to the Seattle Times, Metro last week added two additional buses to Route 70, which runs between the University District and downtown via the Amazon complex in South Lake Union. There are more than 900 summer Amazon interns living in University of Washington dorms and apartments this summer. Amazon pays UW $2.8 million to house the interns.
But that’s not even half the number of interns. Many others live in different locations. The company hasn’t confirmed, but the general consensus is that there are about 2,000 interns this year. To give an idea of Amazon’s size, the company has more than 25,000 local workers, and last year it listed more than 8,000 job openings in Seattle.
Amazon runs four private shuttles between the two campuses — UW’s in Montlake and its own in South Lake Union — but long lines and full buses have led many to use the public transit system.