WA: Commute Seattle Celebrates Its 10,000TH ORCA Business Passport Sale

July 29, 2013
Milestone demonstrates power of small business transit outreach and the business value of transit.

Commute Seattle is on course to sell its 10,000th ORCA Business Passport pass soon in downtown Seattle. ORCA Business Passport is an all-inclusive, regional transit pass that puts the power of unlimited regional transit access in every employee’s hand.

These employer-purchased transit passes have grown in popularity and have become the single most important transportation amenity employers can provide – a key reason why 43 percent of people who work in downtown Seattle use transit. Thanks to ORCA Business Passport, downtown Seattle’s drive alone rate is among the lowest in the nation.

While there is a long tradition of transit support at large companies such as Microsoft and Amazon, smaller businesses previously presented a largely unrealized opportunity. In response, Commute Seattle and King County Metro teamed up to provide targeted outreach to downtown’s small business community.

“This partnership is reaching a huge untapped market by helping smaller businesses get their people to work,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “By making it easier for 10,000 people to take public transit, this program is reducing congestion and keeping the downtown Seattle economy moving.”

Commute Seattle provides sales consultations and analyses, which help small businesses select the transit pass that best suits their budget, culture, and travel needs. Though small businesses have no regulatory requirements to reduce drive-alone commuting, hundreds of small downtown companies have nevertheless recognized the business value of public transportation for their employees and have partnered with Commute Seattle to purchase ORCA Business Passport.

“ORCA Business Passport is a great business tool,” says Kat Scherdel, human resources manager at Z2 Live. “It helped our company save money on transportation costs, greened our business practices, and will be highly valued by current and future employees – making it a cornerstone of our compensation package. It was a pleasure working with Commute Seattle and they did a fantastic job helping us implement this program at our growing business.”

Jamie Cheney, executive director of Commute Seattle says, “Metro has a suite of affordable, flexible, and valuable products for businesses, and our job is to help businesses find the right products so they can conveniently and affordably access Downtown’s transportation assets and lower the cost of doing business here.”

Commute Seattle has been monitoring sales closely and anticipates distributing the 10,000th pass to an individual next week.