The Microsoft Bus

And no, it doesn’t run windows, and it’s not cheap, either:

“This is not cheap what they’re doing,” said Kevin Desmond, general manager at King County Metro Transit. “Microsoft employees enjoy good benefits that many employers would give their right arm to be able to provide.”

Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, acknowledged it is expensive but declined to say how much the company is spending.

The pilot program will include 14 buses, including seven large coaches with bike storage, and electrical outlets at each seat, in addition to Wi-Fi. Seven midsize coaches will be used for neighborhood pickups. There will be multiple runs in the morning and afternoon, Smith said.

Running one bus for one hour costs the Metro system about $110, which includes the driver, mechanic and fuel, Desmond said. At that rate, it would cost $9,240 per day to run 14 buses for six hours, or $2.4 million per year, not including weekends, the cost of new buses or Wi-Fi service.

(cross-posted at Orphan Road)