The Amazon effect: Metro adds buses to handle new flock of summer interns

However you measure it, Amazon’s impact on Seattle is indisputable. Here’s a new metric: summer interns. Amazon has so many that King County Metro has adjusted bus service just for them.

At 8:18 Wednesday morning 23 people with identical black backpacks — fold-over top, metallic buckle, five leather zipper pulls, water-bottle sleeve — boarded a Route 70 bus at the University of Washington.

Eight minutes later 13 more people with the same backpack boarded another 70 bus.

At 8:40, 21 matching backpack-carriers got on the 70, and at 8:42 15 more.

At 8:55, two number 70 buses arrived at the same time and both were swamped with people carrying the black backpack — too many to count, both buses packed to the gills.

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Each one of those backpacks also had one more identifying characteristic, a small tan arc with an arrow on the right pointing upward — the Amazon Smile.

Each of Amazon’s summer interns this year received the same backpack.

From booming jobs to gentrification, from omnipresent cranes to housing shortages, there’s any number of ways to measure how Amazon’s presence has reshaped Seattle. But here’s another one: Amazon’s summer interns — just the interns — can overwhelm bus routes in the city, causing King County Metro to send more buses to accommodate them.

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