Commute from WS to Redmond?

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    I know there are people out there in WSB-land who commute from WS to Redmond. I am in the early stages of negotiating a job out that way. I have been fairly spoiled and have just been commuting down to the Pike Place Market vicinity for the last seven years, so Redmond would be a huge change. Would probably commute on the early-ish side (leaving the house ~7-7:30 AM, heading home ~4 PM). How bad is it? Is the ~75 minute bus commute with downtown transfer worthwhile? Or maybe a carpool? I would feel so guilty driving that far daily as a SOV…

    I would hope to eventually have the option to work remotely at least some of the time, but I would not start with that option. Thanks in advance!



    Sarah —

    you might check Metro’s Rideshare matching service. If your prospective new employer is large enough, they might have an employee dedicated to helping you figure out your commute.

    Good luck! Let us know how it works out.



    I commuted to Bellevue at similar times you listed. Leaving by 7 rather than 7:30 makes a HUGE difference. By 7:30, it could take 30 mins just to get to I-5. Either bridge is fairly easy across the lake at that time, but there can be some congestion on 405 north through Bellevue.

    Getting home is tougher. 405 and I-90 at 4 or later is a parking lot most days. It would often take 20 minutes just to get from one side to the other of Mercer Island.

    Many days, I just paid the toll and took 520. Some back up getting to the bridge, but much faster to I-5, but then some slowness through downtown.

    I think you’d be looking at a 50 minute commute on good days and 90 minutes on bad days.



    The current construction on 520 has removed the carpool lanes and makes going west in the PM a slog on either bridge.

    If your potential employer is a certain large software company, the Connector is a life saver!



    My husband’s been doing this commute for 13 years. I think it is typically 45 minutes in the morning and anywhere from 50-90 minutes at night, often the latter, especially if there is an event at the stadiums or the weather is lousy (or both). Last night is an example of him choosing to stay late at work because traffic was such a cluster. He left work at 7 and it was much faster at that point without the frustration. He was home by 7:45. He is fortunate to have the flexibility to delay leaving home in the morning if things are really bad which helps. He rarely leaves before 8. Typically, he gets home between 6:30-7. Taking public transportation to Redmond is not a great option, but the Connector is great. Wish he would utilize it!



    ditto what sna said going at 7a.m. a breeze but coming home is different everyday. Some days you can make it to WS quickly some days it take over an hour. I was a single driver because I had to get back to WS (child care) as fast as I can. I tried to log each day to see if I can see a pattern, I couldn’t find one. Some days just takes longer, put on good music and relax it can take awhile. It was worse during game days sometime baseball and soccer on the same night. I paid the toll some days only to find out 520 is backed up as well. I no longer go over to Redmond and would never do it again on a daily basis.



    I work in Redmond and commute out daily. My general rules are to leave the house by 6:45 am and leave Redmond no later than 2pm but I work from home until EOD. Don’t take I-5, it’s slower than 1st or 4th when you count in the Bridge backups. Also, keep any eye out on the lower bridge. A lot of the time you can squeak through pretty quick and take East Marginal all the way to the stadiums. As long as you don’t catch a train crossing it usually only takes me about 35 minutes to get parked at work from Alki beach. I have odd hours and only commute to Redmond Tues-Thurs so I might not be the best ride-share.



    Thanks, all! I’m really not excited about the commute prospect, but this would be a good step up in my career. And yes, it is a position at Microsoft (via a consulting firm). My toddler son definitely complicates things, as hanging out at work until 7 to dodge traffic isn’t really an option (I like to see the kid before he goes to bed ;-) ). But I could probably get myself out of bed a bit earlier each day to hit the road by 7 and maybe leave Redmond around 3/3:30.

    Connector is apparently only available to actual Microsoft employees (not surprised), so it looks like driving or carpooling would be the viable options. Metrognome, I’d forgotten about the carpool matching site. I will definitely look at that!



    I’ve been doing this commute for about 11 years- I leave at about 8:30 am and get to work near main campus by 9:10. In the evenings I leave at 4pm sharp (even leaving at 4:15 makes a huge difference), take 148th to I-90, and am usually home by 4:45. Every once in a while I will take 520. I have little ones at home too so I have learned to put on a book on tape and appreciate the quiet ride til I get home ;)



    You can hop a bus into downtown and then take the “Connector” shuttle from the Westlake MS office (Group Health Building on the Streetcar line) to the Redmond main campus. :) That would save you time, $ and hassle. Plus with MS you get an Orca card that’s good for I think $8-10 a day in fares? I have several co-workers who go this route and they love it.



    That’s a good idea! The Westlake shuttle is open to vendors and contractors.



    Sarah, There is at least one Microsoft-West Seattle vanpool — possibly two. These are published in the Microsoft email address book, which you wouldn’t be able to access until you are working here. I used one of the vanpools some years ago, before my schedule began to fluctuate. Vanpools accept contractors/vendors as well as FTEs, and you can use the company-provided Orca card to pay most or all of the monthly fee.

    Depending on the nature of your job, your boss may be fairly flexible regarding your hours and working remotely. Remote network access is the key. Also with new teams it can take a month or more to develop the personal relationships that make remote work possible.

    Good luck with the new job!



    I second the vanpool option; I’ve been making the Redmond commute (not MS though)for about 4 years now but would not be doing it without the van.



    Can you flex your shift from 7am-3:30pm or 6:00am-2:30pm? I have friends that work in Everett who just do an extra early shift so they’re off before traffic starts. Same for my colleagues who live up in Bothell/Woodinville and commute down here. Makes a big difference to start super early and often the biggest snarls happen after 7am. Good luck!

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