Choose Your Way Bellevue Blog

The 520 Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail is opening! People riding bikes can now get from one side of the lake to the other. Whether you prefer aerodynamic helmets and spandex or you’re just trying out a traffic-free commute at your own pace, people traveling by bicycle (and on foot!) now have more options. Join the Choose Your Way Bellevue team, Cascade Bicycle Club and the City of Bellevue in celebrating the opening December 20 at 3 p.m.

Take the one way ride across the lake from Bellevue, or take the round trip, but either way come warm up at our booth at Evergreen Point with some complimentary hot chocolate. You can pick up a free souvenir pin, bike lights, and give our prize wheel a spin, too! You may just win two tickets to skate at the Bellevue Magic Season Ice Arena. Make sure you’ve brought your bike over to the Eastside on the bus before the event so you can bike back.

Please note that the expansion joints on the bridge have been reported as quite bumpy, so ride with caution!

Friday, December 15th, 2017 4:39 PM | by Paige Anderson | Add a Comment

In Part 1 of our Commute Inquiry series we told the story of “K”, who discovered a quick and easy bus route to her workplace. Often times, making a few simple changes can mean the difference between driving alone and commuting on cruise control. However, some commutes are more challenging and it may seem that trying transit or finding a ridematch is an impossibility. While it’s true that our team can’t always find another commuter going your way, we can give you the resources to stay up to date with new riders and available carpools or vanpools. Bus routes that look too long at first glance may be paired with a bike ride, carpool, or short drive alone to a park-and-ride you may not know about, so that you can still use an alternative mode to driving without too much compromise. If you’re able to carpool to a park-and-ride you may even have access to priority parking!

A bike-bus combo might work for you!

Commuter “M” was one such success story: This past spring, at the time of the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride closure, a commuter living in Renton who was used to parking at South Bellevue thought the closure would mean he’d have to pay to park at his workplace. Although taking the bus from his home would be too long of a commute, we helped him discover that by driving to a park-and-ride in Renton, he could still use transit for most of his commute. This route would mean transferring twice, but would save “M” from paying to park each day. We also used Sound Transit’s replacement park-and-ride lots maps to find a lot along his route that was closer to his workplace. This would mean a one-seat ride (no bus transfers), but he’d have to get there early to ensure a parking space. Now “M” has a few options to try out and more “me time” on the bus.

Commutes are not one-size-fits-all, so we want to help you consider all the mix-and-match possibilities that work for you. If an alternative mode doesn’t work right now, don’t give up! Our transit agencies are always making improvements, ridesharing options are always evolving, and we’ve got walk and bike tips and even strategies for teleworking. Let us know how we can help you by filling out your CYWB commute inquiry today.

Choose Your Way Bellevue Staff

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017 2:17 PM | by Paige Anderson | Add a Comment

If you’ve thought about changing up your commute but feel overwhelmed about where to start, why not let the team here at CYWB do the work? Just fill out a commute inquiry and we’ll personally search for the most convenient option for you. Tell us what your work hours are, where you plan to travel to/from, and which transit options you’re interested in. We’ll give you detailed instructions for getting from point A to point B, whether you’re walking, busing, carpooling, vanpooling, or any combination of those. We’ll also send a Bellevue bike map your way if you prefer to travel on two wheels.

Which route is right for you? Image: Amazon.com

Part 1 of 2*: We’re Here for Commuters Like You

Last month, “K” from Seattle used a commute inquiry to find out the best way to get to work in downtown Bellevue from her home in Seattle. She decided she’d had enough of sitting alone in traffic and wanted to know if she could find a worthy alternative by bus. She had no idea that there was an ideal bus line which has a stop less than a block from her door! Thanks to the CYWB commute inquiry, she now knows that she can easily get to work or back home in about 40 minutes by either taking two Sound Transit buses, or combining the bus with Link light rail. We provided her with step-by-step directions for which line and direction to take, and where to walk to and from each stop. We also recommended she use her ORCA card to save time and money during her commute, which she can also use with King County Metro. K no longer has to stare at an endless line of single-occupancy cars or take the time to find a parking spot at work. She is now a happier commuter thanks to CYWB.

Interested in checking out your customized commute plan? Fill out your CYWB commute inquiry today.

*Be on the lookout for part 2, where we’ll address how we can help with commuting situations that might not have such a simple solution.

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staff

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017 12:59 PM | by Paige Anderson | Add a Comment

Magic Season is here! Downtown Bellevue is home to a winter wonderland of delights this holiday season, and Choose Your Way Bellevue has all the resources to help you arrive stress free. Events are peppered around Downtown and easily accessible by bus. If you do prefer to drive, remember that carpooling means more time with friends and family, holiday songs in the car and more eyes peeled for a parking spot!

The simplest transit option is to take a bus to the Bellevue Transit Center. From here you can easily walk to Downtown Park, where the Magic Season Ice Arena is hosted this year, or to Bellevue Arts Museum for “Get Crafty Saturdays”. Take the pedestrian corridor on NE 6th Street two blocks west to Bellevue Way for Snowflake Lane. Walk half a block to the Meydenbauer Center Theatre to see a beautiful production of the Nutcracker; or walk to one of the retail centers in Downtown to do some last minute gift shopping!

Garden D’Lights is held at the Bellevue Botanical Garden East of I-405. To arrive by bus, take Metro route 271 from Bellevue Transit Center Bay 5 eastbound to the 116th Avenue SE and SE 1st Street stop, and walk for about five minutes east on SE 1st Street toward the glistening lights of the garden.

Download These Mobile Apps to Help You Get Around:

Puget Sound Trip Planner: This King County Metro app allows you to find a route between your origin and destination in real time, or for a future trip. See stop details, fare information, route schedules and options.

One Bus Away: Take the bus and save money—for more holiday shopping! Download the app for iPhone, Android and Windows phones to access up-to-date bus arrival times so you aren’t running or waiting in the cold for your transit option. You can click on every bus stop from a map to see all arrival times.

Google Maps: Google Maps now includes real-time bus data. You can plan out your trip for transit, biking or walking and it will give you arrival times and even transit fare information. Google Maps also allows you to add your trip to your calendar so you can be thoroughly prepared.

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staff

Monday, November 27th, 2017 1:39 PM | by admin | Add a Comment

For those of you who may be interested in exploring your region or expanding your commute options, purchasing an ORCA (One Regional Card for All) card is a great place to start. For $5, you will receive a reloadable card that can be used to pay your fare when traveling by bus, ferry, rail, train or any combination of those. It is accepted on Community Transit, Everett Transit, King County Metro Transit, Kitsap Transit, Pierce Transit, Sound Transit and even Washington State Ferries.

It’s easier than cash (just tap it on the ORCA reader and you’re good to go) and gives you added security, since you can keep the credit on your card, if you register it, even if it’s lost or stolen. Whether you’re exploring for a day or looking to simplify your daily commute year-round, ORCA is a good option for you.

Regional Day Pass

The regional Day Pass is a good choice for anyone who may be visiting the region, and using multiple modes of public transportation or planning to take several trips in a day. When you load your card with the $8 regional pass, you can use it all day for any fare costing less than $3.50. This is the best option for friends or family visiting from out of town to get around without having to worry about parking.

Monthly passes

The amount you pay for your Puget Pass depends on your daily commute. For example. If you live in King County and commute to Bellevue, a Puget Pass will cost $117 and cover all fares below $3.25. Rates start as low as $18 for those who may just want $.50 off each ride and go up to a $360 monthly pass that gives you unlimited use for even the highest fares of $10 each way. This option has the potential to save you A LOT. Check out a detailed price list of monthly Puget Pass and other fares here.

E-Purse Value

For those of you who want the convenience of tapping a card without the commitment of a daily or monthly pass, you can add value to an “E-Purse” that is stored on your card and used like cash to pay your fare. You can use it pay for your whole fare, or in combination with one of the other passes. The minimum value you can add at a time is $5, with a maximum stored value per card of $300. Your fare won’t be discounted, but you will have the ease and security of one card for all your transportation options. We recommend keeping your card loaded with at least $5, since you never know when it might come in handy to pay for a longer, more expensive trip.

Check out the product options to find out the best way for you to ORCA. Need to find out how to get a card, add value, or report yours lost or stolen? This is the best place to start. Want to learn more? Visit our ORCA page or send questions to the info@cywb.org.

Are you new to transit? Take your first rides on us! We’re offering new users free ORCA cards pre-loaded with $25. Simply fill out this request form and we’ll mail one to you!

Choose Your Way Bellevue Staff

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017 10:20 AM | by admin | Add a Comment

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