Choose Your Way Bellevue Blog

From Sound Transit:

On March 23, 2019, ST Express bus 550 will shift from the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel to surface streets to accommodate the Washington State Convention Center construction and future Link light rail expansion.

Due to Convention Center construction and to prepare for light rail expansion, buses will permanently leave the downtown transit tunnel. ST Express Route 550 and six Metro routes will operate on surface streets.

All tunnel buses will move to surface streets on March 23, 2019

With buses no longer sharing downtown tunnel stations with trains, Link light rail will be more reliable and the system will be ready to expand. Extensions to Northgate (2021) and Mercer Island, Bellevue and Overlake (2023) are under construction. Trains will then reach Lynnwood, Federal Way and downtown Redmond in 2024; West Seattle and Tacoma in 2030; Ballard and South Lake Union in 2035; Everett in 2036; and South Kirkland and Issaquah in 2041.

As the system expands, Sound Transit will operate longer trains at higher frequency. Early next year, Sound Transit will begin the process of connecting tracks from the Eastside to the current system at International District Station.

Sound Transit, Metro, and SDOT issued the March 2019 Service Change press release on Feb. 20.

Signage at bus stops will go up in the first week of March, and street teams will be out at stops several days before and after the service change at affected stops to direct riders to their new/revised bus stops.

The newly updated Downtown Accessibility Map shows how to get around the steep grades of downtown Seattle.

Bus service changes

  • Route 513 will extend to Seaway Transit Center and connect to Community Transit’s Swift Green Line. The route will serve a new stop at Casino Road and Evergreen Way, which will replace the current stop at Evergreen Way and 79th Place. All other stops will remain the same.
  • Route 542 will add evening and weekend service between Redmond/Overlake and the University District to mitigate the June 2019 closure of the Montlake Freeway Station.
  • Route 550 will travel inbound to Seattle via 4th Avenue and Pike Street, and outbound to Mercer Island and Bellevue via Union Street and 2nd Avenue. Outbound riders currently boarding at International District Station will board at 2nd Ave Ext S & Yesler Way. Visit here for more info on new routings for Metro tunnel routes 41, 74, 101, 102, 150, and 255.
  • Route 555 will only operate between Northgate and Bellevue starting on March 25, 2019.  Sound Transit will invest resources into improving reliability on Route 554. Riders can use King County Metro Route 271 between Issaquah, Eastgate and Bellevue or routes 240 or 241 between Bellevue and Eastgate.
  • Route 580 will run fewer trips to Lakewood beginning March 25, focusing resources on the high-ridership segment between Puyallup Station and South Hill Park and Ride.

In addition to these major changes, Sound Transit is making additional minor service adjustments to several other ST Express routes. Visit soundtransit.org/servicechange for more info.

If you ride an affected route, sign up for Rider Alerts to get the most up-to-date information delivered right to your inbox.

Friday, March 8th, 2019 10:33 AM | by Tim Kelley | Add a Comment

Jeff, on a recent trip to Glacier National Park

Did you know that you can have a chance to earn awesome rewards just by logging your commute? If you sign up with Choose Your Way Bellevue, you will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win a $100 REI gift card just by participating and logging your non-drive-alone commute at least 8 times a month.

Jeff is our March Mover of the Month and commutes regularly from Issaquah to Bellevue by bus. By choosing to commute by bus, Jeff is less stressed, saves money with an employer subsidized bus pass, and enjoys have some “me” time on his commute.

We caught up with Jeff earlier this week and this is what he had to say about his commute:

CYWB: What is your green commute (what is your mode and where are you coming from/going to)?

Jeff: I’m fortunate enough to be within walking distance of the Issaquah Highlands Park and Ride so I catch the Sound Transit 556 Express in the mornings and get off at the Bellevue Transit Center where I’m within walking distance of my building.  I feel like I’m living the dream with an efficient, car-free commute to and from work.

 

CYWB: Why do you choose to commute this way?

Jeff: There are few reasons I commute by bus.  The #1 reason I commute by bus is because it’s the least stressful way of getting to work.  I’d rather have someone else do the driving instead of me dealing with traffic.  My employer also subsidizes my bus pass, so I’m saving money on transportation and not having to spend as much money on gas.  On top of that, I can read my Kindle on the bus or take a nap.  It’s basically extra time in my day for whatever I want to do.

 

CYWB: What is something unexpected you’ve discovered/learned/experienced since you began commuting via this mode?

Jeff: I occasionally think deeply while staring out the window.  I don’t know why, but some of my best creative brainstorming and reflection happens on the bus.

 

CYWB: Tell us a bit about yourself—do you have any fun hobbies?

Jeff: I love learning new things, so I’m always reading.  Currently, I’m learning programming and building projects in my spare time.  Besides that, I enjoy being outdoors riding my road bike and running trails.

Special thanks Jeff for sharing his commute with us! We hope his experience can serve as inspiration for others to try out your own alternative mode of transit – why not start with the bus!

Would you like to be the Choose Your Way Bellevue Mover of the Month? Log at least eight non-drive-alone trips on your RideshareOnline calendar and you’ll automatically be entered into the drawing for next month – as well as our 25 win $25 drawing – and be eligible for “Perks” local business discounts! Learn more at www.ChooseYourWayBellevue.org/Rewards.

– Choose Your Way Bellevue Staffer Tim

Thursday, March 7th, 2019 4:16 PM | by Tim Kelley | Add a Comment

Cloudy weather with a side of Seattle Squeeze got you down? Choose Your Way Bellevue wants to perk you up! A lot of bike goodness happened in Bellevue in 2018 and we want to keep that momentum rolling in the new year. So with that in mind we’re giving away backpacks, bike lights, bells, and winter bike socks and all you have to do is send us a selfie so we can share your smile on social media!

Interested? Here are three easy steps that will score you some free swag:

Step 1: Pull your bike out of winter hibernation or find the nearest Bikeshare Bike, and then go for a ride in Bellevue!

Step 2: Enjoy your fast, easy, convenient bike ride and snap a selfie with your bike, or the view from your handlebars (while not in motion of course!), within the Bellevue city limits! Or better yet, grab a friend to play photog and go for a ride with you!

Step 3: Email us your photo (info@cywb.org) and provide us with your mailing address. Just for taking a ride and sharing your photo, we’ll send you a fancy, limited edition Choose Your Way Bellevue backpack stuffed with goodies inside, like bike lights, a bell and winter socks. (While supplies last. Let us know if you don’t want us to post your photo publicly.)

The Fine Print:
We only have a limited number of goodies, so this promotion is first-come, first-served limited to Bellevue riders. One reward per rider. Photos must be taken within the City of Bellevue. We want to share your smiling selfies with the world, but we do respect your privacy–let us know if you don’t want us to share your photos on social media.

Update: here’s a pic of some of the goodies you’ll get:

Friday, January 25th, 2019 12:05 PM | by Tim Kelley | Add a Comment

Telecommuting can help improve company productivity and enhance employee recruitment while decreasing overhead costs.

At this workshop, you’ll learn about how to implement an effective telecommute program that benefits your business’s bottom line and improves work/life balance.

This event will be hosted at Lincoln Square South (500 Bellevue Way NE) and a complimentary lunch will be provided.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Complimentary Lunch: 11:30 a.m. – Noon
Program: Noon – 1 p.m.

Lincoln Square North
Collaboration Center
500 Bellevue Way
Suite 253
Bellevue, WA 98004

RSVP for Free Here by 2/4

The Collaboration Center is located on the Southeast corner, on the 2nd floor, of Lincoln Square South:

• From the LSS parking garage, take the elevator to level 2
• Head South through the Food Hall toward the South Tower elevators
• Once through the South Tower elevator lobby, make a left at the Property Management Office. The Collaboration Center entrance is located at the end of the hall, Suite 253

Visitor parking onsite will be validated at Nordstrom Rack or any restaurant for up to three hours. For questions, please email info@cywb.org.

Thursday, January 17th, 2019 11:56 AM | by Tim Kelley | Add a Comment

From figuring out your fare and your route to supplying you with reflective gadgets and gizmos, our transportation team has everything you need to be a pro at bus commuting.

The New Year is a time for resolutions so, this year, why not resolve to make a change that’s a win-win for yourself, others and the planet? Make 2019 the year of transit!

With construction, closures, and perpetual traffic, there’s never been a better time to give driving a break and pursue other transportation options. We like the bus this time of year when the weather is unpredictable and it gets dark just after lunch, but we support and applaud our cyclists and walkers as well!

Our team of transportation experts will write you a custom commute plan–all you need to provide is your origin and destination addresses. You can also plan a commute yourself! There are some great tools such as Google Maps which allow you to route your commute; just choose the bus icon at the top left and change your time frame to “Arrive by” to enter the time you’d like to get to work. Sometimes, there isn’t a route, it takes too long, or it requires too many transfers. A great way to simplify is to enter your origin as a transit center or park-and-ride. Some park-and-rides fill up early, so depending on how early you leave and where from, your new commute may require a little bit of trial and error before you perfect your plan.

Did you know that traveling via the Eastgate Park-and-Ride has gotten easier? King County Metro will actually pick you up and connect you to your Eastgate/Factoria office, or from your home if nearby, the park-and-ride through the Ride2 program! Your office parking may be tight, but by taking this Metro shuttle, you have a worry-free ride to and from your ride!

Not ready to leave the comfort of the car yet? There’ve never been more carpool resources than right now, and for a limited time, King County Metro is helping make your carpool even cheaper by partnering with carpool apps Waze and Scoop.

Need an ORCA card? Sign up for King County Metro’s Just One Trip to get a new ORCA card pre-loaded with $25 fare mailed to you, or get $25 value added to your existing ORCA card when you take the survey. Traveling to or from Bellevue? Choose Your Way Bellevue will also help you try transit with a $25 pre-loaded ORCA card.  ORCA is a regional transit card which allows you to simply tap your card and ride. The card will automatically track your transfers and fares, so you never have to calculate or pay twice when switching buses or agencies. ORCA is accepted on Community Transit, Everett Transit, King County Metro Transit, Kitsap Transit, Pierce Transit, Sound Transit and Washington State Ferries.

And you can use ORCA to pay vanpool fare for King County, Community Transit, Pierce Transit or Kitsap Transit.

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019 10:07 AM | by Tim Kelley | Add a Comment

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