Posted by: kurtsh | February 20, 2006

MULTIMEDIA: Microsoft’s proposed Intracampus Transit system

Since many of you have never seen Microsoft’s campus before, I thought I’d write about something that would give you an idea of how big the place is.  Once if was just as cluster of 6 "X" shaped buildings, it’s now a sprawling campus with a "lake", several football/frisbee football fields, a dozen or so basketball courts, a more than a dozen cafeterias… and these cafeterias are HUGE – some of them operate 24/7.  Think about the size of your local Shopping Mall’s food court.  Yeah.  That big.
In any case, there’s a company that’s proposing (again) a light rail transit system of sorts leveraging people-mover like cars that move about like a Disneyland ride.  The proposal is here:
This is a video that demonstrates what the rail system would look like and it’s benefits web page:
Note that I said, "again" above.  This proposal has been put forth over and over again over the last 10 years I’ve been employed and the pluses and minuses never seemed to gel.  Now this proposal’s been put forth and it’s the first that I’ve been privy to with such "marketing detail" around it.
Kinda spiffy to dream I suppose.  It’s not like people REALLY have traffic jams around the campus – but there are times when getting a shuttle can be a challenge and I could imagine how a system like this would be very convenient… albeit costly.
What would probably enable this to take off would be a system in which people could park elsewhere, the take the light rail system to their office because PARKING is always a problem at Microsoft.  Also something where good coffee and the the local Pro Club (the gym everyone belongs to) are interconnected for midday coffee or a workout.


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