Archive for February, 2016

New Link service to the University of Washington (UW) started March 19 and buses change March 26. But what does that mean for Bellevue commuters?

u link image_image 1On Saturday, March 19, Sound Transit expanded to serve two new stations on Capitol Hill and at the University of Washington’s Husky Stadium. The two new University Link (U-Link) stations connects to existing Central Link that currently runs from Westlake in the downtown Seattle transit tunnel to SeaTac airport. During the first week of new U-Link service to Husky Stadium, use current bus service to connect with light rail. From Saturday, March 19 through Friday, March 25, commuters can use existing bus service to reach the Link stations.

From Sound Transit: University Link Extension Map

From Sound Transit: University Link Extension Map

From Sound Transit: University Station map

From Sound Transit: University Station map

One week later, on March 26, Metro’s spring service change will take effect. Metro produced a great interactive map that shows the Link light rail alignment, and another page that outlines the service changes route by route. There are no eastside buses that will see significant impacts with this service change; but if you travel on a local Seattle bus or if you connect to the Metro 271 or Sound Transit 555 to travel to Bellevue check your route here. The Metro 271 routes and times will remain the same.

Bottom line:

We’ve listed some of the changes below, but remember that Choose Your Way Bellevue is here to help you navigate these changes and plan your trip. Contact us for a custom commute plan.

Call us: 425-990-3097

U-Link by the Numbers:

  • Frequency: Trains will run the following schedule, always running at the very least every 15 minutes from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. on weekdays & Saturdays; and from 6:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m. on Sundays.

Weekday Frequencies

5:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m. Every 15 minutes
6:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Every 6 minutes
8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Every 10 minutes
3:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Every 6 minutes
6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Every 10 minutes
9:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. Every 15 minutes


Travel Times

  • Metro 271 from downtown Bellevue to Montlake: 26 minutes + transfer to Link: ~5 minutes, and Link to Pioneer Square: ~12 minutes = 43 minutes.
  • For those who have relied solely on a ST 550 trip from downtown Bellevue across I-90 to reach downtown Seattle: With the new U-Link opening, consider a trip to downtown Seattle across SR-520 from Bellevue, using ST 555/556 in the peak periods, or Metro 271 then a 2 minute walk to transfer to the U-Link towards downtown Seattle.
    • Note: depending on Bellevue Way or I-90 construction, SR-520 routes + Link might be the best option. Stay in the loop with the Choose Your Way Bellevue news feed or twitter alerts.
  • Link: 8 minutes from UW station to downtown Seattle (Westlake station).
  • Link: 4 minutes from UW station to Capitol Hill; 4 minutes from Capitol Hill to downtown Seattle. Check out the station tour page for more info on the Capitol Hill station (between Broadway Ave E and 10th Ave E and just north of E Denny Way).

A Seattle tip: reminder that all downtown Seattle tunnel buses stop at every tunnel stop. So if you are trying to get to a specific downtown tunnel stop, every Seattle tunnel bus will get you there.

ORCAORCA and transfers: Remember that you can transfer you fare from Link to a Sound Transit bus or a King County Metro bus with an ORCA card; paper transfers do not work between Sound Transit buses/ Link and Metro transit. Read more about orca cards and transfers at

Summary of some of these U-Link-related services changes

While many bus routes on the Eastside aren’t changing, there will be new ways to connect to areas near the new light rail stations by bus. Metro is providing buses every 7 minutes most times of day to the Ave from the UW Link station.

Places like U Village, Seattle Children’s, and Magnuson Park will be served almost as frequently by bus from the Link light rail station. On Capitol Hill (4 minutes from downtown by light rail), people can get to 15th Avenue and Volunteer Park with buses coming every 10-15 minutes by the station. We encourage you to try to make bus-to-bus and link-to-bus connections for non-work related trips. The best way to try this will be us to Metro’s Online Trip Planner in early March with a date after March 26 when schedule and stop information will be fully loaded into the system.

Also, for a direct express across the lake from Redmond to the UW Link Station, the new ST Express route 541 will offer 48 new trips a week (weekdays, mostly in the peak) between Overlake in Redmond and UW Station, starting March 26.

Quick links to prepare for the changes

You can start preparing now by doing the following:


–Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Augusta

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016 12:34 AM | by augusta | Comments (1)
Walking is an easy way to get some exercise in!

Walking is an easy way to get some exercise in!

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to lead a healthier lifestyle. Whether that means eating a balanced diet, increasing physical activity, or getting rid of stress, using non-drive alone modes can help you reach these goals.

Yes, taking the bus, joining a carpool, or signing up for a vanpool, and of course, walking or biking to work, can help you stay healthy and stick to those resolutions.

If your goal is to eat healthier…

  • Plan your grocery list during a bus, carpool, or vanpool ride to or from work- If you are not in the driver’s seat agonizing over traffic, you are better equipped to think about healthy meals you want for the week, browse recipes on your phone, and write out a grocery list.

If your goal is to increase physical activity…

  • Celebrate the exercise you might already get to and from the bus stop. If you are lucky enough to be able to walk to your bus stop, don’t underestimate the time it takes to walk to and from your stop, and celebrate the fact that you may already be on your way to getting those steps. The CDC recommends that the average adult get around 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, and this can include brisk walking (2015). Ten minutes to and from a bus stop, five times each week already adds up to 100 minutes, more than half of the recommended amount.
  • Get off the bus one or two stops earlier. Remember, just because your bus may drop you off close to your destination, it doesn’t mean you have to take the bus all the way there. You can control how far you want to walk on any given day. Give it a try once a week, and next week, try it twice.
  • Walk or bike to the park and ride. If you live within a reasonable distance of a park and ride, consider walking or biking to it instead of driving. Many park and rides even have bike racks and bike lockers, but check first with the transit agency that runs that specific park and ride – or check with us and we can help you find that information.

If your goal is to get rid of stress…

  • Focus your travel time on activities that improve your mood and well-being. Sitting in traffic can be stressful, so riding in the HOV lane can make a big difference. If you are an extravert, you might appreciate the time with carpool or vanpool partners as a new social outlet. On the other hand, if you enjoy time to yourself, consider listening to music, reading a book, or taking a nap.


Check out the Mover of the Month’s story here on how her commute has helped her exercise and enjoy the fresh air.

Do you have ideas on how non-drive alone modes can help continue the momentum of our New Year’s resolutions? Leave them in the comments below.

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Danielle

Friday, February 5th, 2016 6:20 PM | by admin | Add a Comment




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