Thursday, September 9, 2010

Transit is Popular at Seattle Premium Outlets

Even though I live just across I-5 from the Seattle Premium Outlets, I’m not much of a shopper so I don’t go there very much. However, we did make a foray across the freeway on Labor Day afternoon.

Wow! The parking lot was so full, cars were parked in the aisles and it felt like Christmas-time, driving slowly to follow people with bags who might be pulling out of a real parking spot soon.

I started to understand why the Seattle Premium Outlets website does such a good job promoting public transportation, and why their link to the Community Transit site is so popular - we got 521 hits from them last month - the most of any non-transit website. I’m sure most of the web traffic is from out of town visitors trying to get around without a car. But I see now that smart locals might also leave their cars at home.

In June I met a woman from Hong Kong heading to the outlets from Seattle. Although it takes three buses to get to Tulalip from Seattle, she was happy enough with the service. She just wished she’d bought an ORCA card before she started her trip (the free transfers would have saved her $7 on the roundtrip, which more than covers the $5 fee to buy the card).

I wish every business and destination did as good a job promoting transit options as Seattle Premium Outlets. Let the places you go know that their online “directions” should do more than tell people how to drive and park there.

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