Archive for September, 2014

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Some of us went full speed ahead when we decided to commute via bus and some were a little apprehensive. When trying anything for the first time doubts can cloud the mind and even keep us from doing the new activity. Joyce, however, faced her fears head on!

Read Joyce’s story on how she overcame her commute fears.

Nervous but a bit excited, I arrived a few minutes early for my first day of riding the bus.

Prepared to defend my spot in line no matter what, I was ready to stare down any line-jumpers, regardless of how scary they might look. As I walked up to my stop, I found a short line consisting of people in business attire working on their phones. Hmmm, well, I wasn’t going let my guard down. Any one of them could muscle their way in front of me as soon as the bus pulled up. That nice looking mom-type behind me with the bob haircut and briefcase? Yeah, I was keeping my eye on her.

As my bus pulled up about half the people in line calmly stepped forward, still keeping their order in line. Clearly they sensed I wasn’t going to let anyone get away with anything.

As I boarded the bus, I had my ORCA card in hand. Certain I would fail to “tap” my card correctly (nothing could be that easy), I was prepared for total embarrassment as I would have to ask the driver for help, holding up the line in the process. But when they say you just tap it that was really all there was to it.

Relieved that I was near the front of the line and would probably be able to snag one of the last seats, I looked up to scan for an empty spot. The bus was empty but for the few people that had boarded before me! Nearly overwhelmed with choice I grabbed a seat about halfway back.

I felt prepared: a plastic seat cover, disposable gloves, face mask; you know, the usual. Everyone knows the bus is dirty, grimy and who knows what might be on that seat, right? I was shocked, but pleasantly surprised, to see that the bus was actually quite clean. It was not the aging vinyl seats of the 1980’s Metro buses. No, these seats were clean, cloth, cushioned and comfy.

Feeling slightly let down at how easy this had been so far, I relaxed and looked out the window. My mind wandered to how this could still go horribly wrong. Surely the driver would skip my stop. Someone who hadn’t showered in three months would get on and sit right next to me. Someone would get on with a cat and make my allergies flare. But no, shockingly it all went smoothly.

As I think back on it, it was much easier than battling traffic. I even had some time to read. If anyone cut us off, I wouldn’t have even noticed.

I think I’ll do this again tomorrow and if no ninjas hijack the bus, this might become my new commute.

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 3:05 PM | by geri | Add a Comment

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How far would you go for a greener commute? How about running 8 miles to your work? Commute Challenger Margot, ran about 7 to 8 miles to her work on some days of the week for her Commute Challenge.

Read her story below.

I have always considered myself an environmentally-conscious person, but felt that driving alone was my only option. I need access to a car for work, and have to drive my kids to daycare, so carpools or buses wouldn’t work for me. When I saw the Commute Challenge, I felt motivated to see what other ways I could commute while still fulfilling my other obligations.

I would run. I could drive to work, run home and back, then drive home the following day. I could then have the use of my car during the day, green commute, and exercise. I mapped my route, and it was a doable 7.2 miles each way – provided I found the trail through Wilburton.

My first run home started okay, but it was over 80 degrees, and I just couldn’t find the Wilburton trail. Instead, I spent 30 minutes trying to get out of Bellevue. I got home 9 hot miles and 2 long hours later; running no longer seemed like such a good idea. The next morning, I found a quicker way, but it was still 8.4 miles.

There were benefits. I passed cars sitting in traffic, where I too usually sit. I spent time on the trails and tree-lined streets, soaking in the sun. It was lovely, though hard to overlook the fact that I logged 17.4 miles in just over 24 hours. I will try to keep it up, but I will probably only do it once a week. That was tough!

margot 2

Where I began, at 5:20 in the evening, with the City of Bellevue behind me

margot 3

Next to 405, going much faster than the cars.

Great effort, Margot! If you want to try the Commute Challenge like Margot did you can find more information here. You don’t have to run to work for your commute but we want to challenge you to walk, carpool, vanpool, bike or take the bus to work at least five days in a week. We will pay for the transportation costs of your new commute and you will be entered to win  iPad Mini, $300 Microsoft Store gift card, an Amazon Kindle Fire or an ORCA card pre-loaded with a $300 e-purse. We’re accepting applications until Oct. 1. Challenges will run now until the end of October.

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 4:05 PM | by geri | Add a Comment




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