Archive for February, 2015

Get Moving with Perks

My name is Sol and I’m a new intern at Choose Your Way Bellevue. When I started I was happy to learn about the Perks our members get on food and other cool stuff with On The Move Bellevue. I want everybody to know that they can be getting Perks like free slices at Pagliacci Pizza or $10 off at Lunchbox Laboratory in no time!

I’ll introduce On The Move Bellevue and then give a quick “how-to” for getting your Perks.

What is On The Move Bellevue?

On The Move Bellevue is a rewards and ridematching program that easily lets you record your trips, connect with other users to join or start a carpool or vanpool, and view your transportation stats like how much CO2 you’ve saved (I’ve saved 74 pounds in the last couple weeks; how cool is that?).

How to get Perks

First, sign up. Visit www.OnTheMoveBellevue.org and create an On The Move Bellevue account. Logging as few as eight days of not driving alone each month will get you great deals. And if you’re already a transit champion, just keep it up and keep redeeming those Perks!

How to Graphic 1 sign up

From there, all you have left to do is start logging your non-drive-alone trips. Sign in (www.OnTheMoveBellevue.org) and click the “Calendar” tab. Choose your mode of transportation for a recent trip and confirm the details like your start and end locations (your destinations will be saved so you don’t have to put them in more than once). Then select which day you made the trip. You can select multiple days if you made the same trip on those days. Here’s an example of how I logged my trips:

Last Friday I signed into my On The Move Bellevue account and went to the calendar. I selected “Bike” and set the location for my classes at school before clicking on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Then I selected “Bus” and set the location for work before clicking on Tuesday and Thursday. That’s it!

How To Graphic 2 calendar

Getting Started Graphic 3 mode

Getting Started Graphic 4 details

Getting Started Graphic 5 days

Now for the best part, redeeming your perks!

Your Perk will be emailed to you between the 6th and 10th each month. Just bring them to restaurants and businesses with your participant card and have fun!

Happy Commuting!

-Sol Wagner, Choose Your Way Bellevue Intern

As always, you can email us with questions at info@OnTheMoveBellevue.org.

Friday, February 27th, 2015 4:17 PM | by geri | Add a Comment

Compiled from information from the Washington State Department of Transportation

Drivers on I-405 experience some of the worst traffic in the state—up to eight hours of congestion each day. The HOV lanes are often just as congested as the general purpose lanes. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has been working on a solution to this problem. Since June of 2012, WSDOT has been widening I-405 with the purpose of adding a new high occupancy toll lane in each direction, from Bothell to NE 6th Street in Bellevue, to work in conjunction with the existing HOV lane. This would increase vehicle throughput and ease congestion.

A new lane combined with the existing HOV lane will create a dual express toll lane system from downtown Bellevue to Bothell/Woodinville or SR 522. Additionally, the existing HOV lane from SR 522 to I-5 will be converted to a single express toll lane. The new lanes will provide drivers with the option to drive in the general purpose lanes for free, or pay a toll to access the express toll lanes where traffic should move 45 miles per hour or faster at least 90% of the time (similar to the SR 167 HOT lanes between Renton and Auburn). Carpools, transit and vanpools meeting the new occupancy requirements will still use the lanes for free. The regular lanes on I-405 will remain free.

You might be thinking, “But the HOV lanes are already congested; how will this work to ease congestion?” Great question. Essentially, express toll lane rates will be set by drivers, and depend on how far they are traveling. The toll will automatically increase and decrease based on how many people have chosen to use the lanes. The toll automatically increases when traffic in the express toll lanes is heavier and decreases when traffic is lighter, ensuring the express toll lanes keep traffic moving at free flow speeds. Drivers will enter and exit the express toll lanes using designated access points and the price posted as they enter the lane is the price they will pay. As a driver approaches the entry point to the express toll lanes, he will see a sign with up to three destinations. The toll the driver sees for his destination at that time is the price he will pay for his trip.

I405_ExpressTollLanes_Zones_510px
Note: The NE 6th Street I-405 direct-access ramps in Bellevue will be located within the tolling area for I-405 accessing the ramps to and from the north only.

Toll Payment

Drivers can use their Good To Go! account to pay a toll to use the high occupancy toll lanes. If they don’t have an account, they will receive a bill in the mail at a higher toll rate. Transit, vanpools and carpools with the designated number of passengers will still be able to use the lanes for free. To use the express toll lanes free, carpool drivers will need the new Good To Go! Flex Pass, which will be offered by WSDOT in spring 2015.

I-405_ETL_Visualization_withNewSign-01 gtgpass  
Toll Rates and Exemptions

As with all other state toll facilities, the Washington State Transportation Commission will set toll rates and exemptions for the I-405 express toll lanes. Toll rates will automatically adjust based on the amount of traffic in the lanes and the Commission will set a minimum and maximum. The Commission’s current proposal includes the following:

  • A range of 75 cents for the minimum toll and $10 for the maximum toll for this 17-mile system.
  • Carpools must have three or more people to be exempt from paying a toll during peak periods (weekdays from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.), and carpools with two or more people will be exempt during off-peak periods. For more information from the Commission about the 2+ or 3+ question, read on here.

The Washington State Transportation Commission is seeking public comment. How will you use the express toll lanes? Drivers can find more information on the Commission’s proposal and provide comments via emailwebdiscussion forumswritingphone, or public meetings:

Questions?

Visit WSDOT’s frequently asked questions about I-405 express toll lanes or email WSDOT at goodtogotolling@wsdot.wa.gov .

“But I am a carpooler – so that means I don’t have to pay the toll, right?”

Right – if you have the designated number of passengers. Currently carpoolers with 2 or more persons are allowed to drive in the HOV lane. The current proposal by the Washington State Transportation Commission is to increase the number of passengers to 3 or more that ride free in the express toll lanes during peak periods.

“How do I find an additional carpool partner or start a 3+ carpool?”

That’s where On The Move Bellevue staff can help! See our infographic on how to find a ridematch on www.OnTheMoveBellevue.org. Or give us a call for more information: 425-990-3097. Soon, you will also be able to search for carpool partners on www.iCarpool.com. This mobile app will provide real-time ridesharing opportunities at $.30 per mile. If you are looking for a ride or you prefer to be a driver this app could be perfect for you. Stay connected to our newsletter and we will be sure to blog about it when it is up and running. This may be a perfect time to try a different mode that can help you navigate the Express Toll Lanes or find a mode that can help you avoid I-405 altogether.

Whether it’s exploring a new bike route, a bus that works or a vanpool: we can help. Visit www.ChooseYourWayBellevue.org to explore the various transportation options in Bellevue or fill out a commute inquiry form and we will get back to you shortly!

How do you plan to use the Express Toll Lanes? Are you considering a different way to work? Let us know! E-mail us at info@onthemovebellevue.org.

-Augusta DeVries

Choose Your Way Bellevue staff

Note: This post has been updated since its original version to add a link for more information about the 2+ or 3+ question and about the NE 6th Street direct-access ramps tolling.

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015 5:28 PM | by geri | Add a Comment

CYWB OTM Rotating Image
More than 2,000 On The Move Bellevue participants have taken the Make A Change Pledge. And what change are we trying to make? We are promising to drive alone less. By taking this Pledge we are joining a community effort to make trips on the I-405 corridor more reliable. This means a healthier you that saves money and allows you to be more productive with your time, and a healthier environment for everyone.

February marks your last chance to be a part of this effort. The Make A Change Pledge is a quick survey that could earn you a $25 gift card*. Take the pledge here and then show us that you took it!

From now until Feb. 28, like and share this post on our Facebook page to show your support be entered to win one of  25 will win a $25 Gregg’s Cycles or REI gift card!

Get started now by visiting our Facebook page or following us on Twitter. Don’t forget to tell your friends that travel greener, or are thinking about it, about the Pledge!

*The Make A Change Pledge rewards are available while supplies last. 

Monday, February 16th, 2015 5:45 PM | by geri | Add a Comment

560 to the airport

In Anchorage more commuters fly to work than take the bus. A recent article published in the Alaska Dispatch News detailed a household travel survey highlighting commute-mode split for Anchorage-area residents. The study found that while only 1.7 percent of Anchorage-area residents utilize transit for their commute, 1.8 percent fly to work.

That’s not the case in Bellevue, and it’s unlikely to be in the future. But if you do need to fly, it is likely you will first need to get to the airport. Luckily Sound Transit has a solution. Sound Transit operates the Sound Transit 560 express route that takes you directly from downtown Bellevue to Sea-Tac Airport.

On a recent workday I had an afternoon flight scheduled. Since I work in downtown Bellevue, I decided to pack my travel bag onto the morning commuter bus and head to the office. Around noon, I rolled my carry-on to Bay 6 of the Bellevue Transit Center, where the ST 560 express departs every thirty minutes during the week day (every 60 minutes for evening and weekend departures). I tapped my ORCA Card to pay the $2.50 fare Sound Transit charges for the trip, and I sat down to finish up some work. A short time later I arrived at the Sea-Tac Airport. The bus let us out a few steps from the terminal entrance. My 45-minute trip cost me $2.50, dropped me off at the terminal, saved me from parking and allowed me to finish up a work assignment. That’s good news whether you live in Anchorage or Bellevue. The only issue I had was waiting alone for my “drive-alone/ pay-to-park friends” to join me in the airport lounge.

Tips for riding ST 560 to the airport:

  • Expect delays and crowded buses during weekday peak hours. Add at least 45 minutes to your trip if traveling to the airport at this time.
  • There’s room for your luggage! ST Buses have overhead storage throughout the bus, or at the very least toward the back of the bus. There is room underneath the seats at the front of the bus as well.
  • If you do not have a bus pass, make sure to pay the exact change on your fare. Bus drivers do not take credit cards (only ORCA!) nor do they give change.
Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 6:46 PM | by geri | Add a Comment

Dcp_0403

Start a NEW King County Metro VanPool or VanShare and each new participant could receive a $50 MasterCard Rewards Card! Ready to get rewarded? Here’s how:

•  Find four (or more) other commuters you can share a ride to work with through www.OnTheMoveBellevue.org. Metro will provide the van, gas, insurance and maintenance. Check out our commuter van starter kit for tips on getting your van on the road and a worksheet to iron out the pertinent details.

• Collect a complete and signed program application from each member. Email all competed forms to vanpool@kingcounty.gov or fax them to 206-684-2166.

• Once all forms are received, your Rideshare Services Representative (RSR) will walk you through the rest of the process and help you get your new group on the road!

• After the formation process is complete (usually 2-3 weeks), your RSR will schedule a time for the van to be picked up and give your group instructions on how to redeem their $50 MasterCard Rewards Card!

Ground Rules:

• To be considered a participant of a new group, the participant must be listed on the Statement of Understanding signed upon pick-up of the van. Anyone joining the group after this time will be considered to have joined an existing group.
• Participant must have a completed Metro commuter van program application on file with Rideshare Operations.
• Participant must not have participated in any commuter van program within the past three months prior to starting a new Metro commuter van.
• If an existing van splits into two groups, only the new participants of the new group who meet the criteria above will be eligible for this promotion.
• Promotion is only for New King County Metro vanpool or vanshare groups that start between January 1 and December 31, 2015.

More rideshare promotions can be found at King County Metro.

Friday, February 6th, 2015 5:00 PM | by geri | Add a Comment

Subscribe

Categories

Archives

Related Blogs