When Electric Cloud moved from a Sunnyvale office park to 35 South Market Street in Downtown San Jose a few months ago, employees who commuted by car to the software release management technology company started to leave their cars in the driveway and taking public to work. Many of the 70 employees now take Caltrain, taking advantage of the company’s offer of a GoPass. Several others take ACE from the East Bay, or VTA light rail from elsewhere in the South Bay.
The company was looking for a place to grow, and public transit was a key factor in choosing a location, according to Steve Vattuone, the CFO, who is a longtime Caltrain commuter from his home in San Mateo. Current employees wanted less car commuting, and public transportation nearby is an advantage in recruiting, as is a location downtown instead of in an office park. ”We really like the vibe of downtown San Jose, and it’s attracting more and more tech companies” – about 100, according to the city’s office of economic development.
The company has about 130 employees and growing, with locations in San Francisco, the UK, China and Japan in addition to headquarters in San Jose.
Vattuone estimates that 25-30% of employees use Caltrain or VTA light rail, and another 5-10 people who walk or bike to work on a given day. Between a third and a half of employees don’t drive to work now, compared to almost none in Sunnyvale.
It is new buildings near Diridon attracting companies such as Electric Cloud that the Diridon policy refinements proposed by Mayor Reed would require to provide more parking. That policy would provide incentives to drive for the employees otherwise more likely to take transit.