SEATTLE – The streets of Seattle may become busier Monday as the first wave of Expedia employees are set to move into the travel giant’s new headquarters in the Interbay neighborhood.
Although Expedia will have incentives to get its workers on public transportation, its new campus has a huge parking garage, which could mean some will drive to work and impact the morning’s commute.
Chopper 7 flew over the campus that isn’t finished being built and shows towering cranes and construction workers busy at the 40-acre waterfront site. However, part of the campus will open Monday to its first group of 4,500 employees.
This comes as the travel booking company shifts from Bellevue to its new headquarters in Seattle.
The move has one commuter, Matt Wherrette, bracing for a longer drive into Seattle. It is one he said has improved since the Viaduct closed.
“It used to take about an hour to get six miles,” Wherrette said. “I pass it every day, so, twice a day – It’s going to cause a lot more of a commute headache it sounds like.”
Expedia will pay its employees to hop on the bus, light rail and cover car and vanpooling costs; and that’s on top of shuttle buses from the Eastside.
The city is estimating the new headquarters will add nearly 3,000 daily car trips into the city, which adds concern about congestion on busy streets like Elliott Avenue. That number could grow.
Jason Cannon who lives nearby said, “As long as there’s a willingness to revisit it if things are not going smoothly, then I’m fine with it.”
It is expected to take Expedia several months to move all of its local workers into the new campus with room for the company to bring in more people in the future.