Archive for January, 2017

The South Bellevue Park-and-Ride will be closed for approximately five years during construction. ST Express buses 550, 555 and 556, and Metro buses 241 and 249 will continue to serve Bellevue Way Southeast next to the closed park-and-ride during construction. The future South Bellevue Station will include bus and paratransit transfer facilities and a 1,500-stall parking garage. Sound Transit expects to receive a construction schedule from the contractor soon that will identify the closure date, to be announced through East Link construction alerts. Stay informed by subscribing to Sound Transit’s East Link alerts at soundtransit.org/subscribe.

With a closure like this, it’s a great time to evaluate all of your options and we’re here to help.

Sound Transit identified replacement and existing park-and-ride lots with additional parking capacity and also expanded service on routes traveling to downtown Seattle and Bellevue. Visit the links below to discover replacement park-and-ride lots and new routes to find an alternative lot that works best for your lifestyle and location. There may even be a carpool or vanpool option that can get you to your destination.

We realize the park-and-ride closure may have a big impact on your commute. If you would like help navigating your options, fill out a custom commute planning inquiry and the Choose Your Way Bellevue team will help you find your way. You can always visit ChooseYourWayBellevue.org for information about alternatives to driving alone.

Choose Your Way Bellevue has created a new “East Link and Travel Options” page to help you get around during East Link construction. The new page will be updated with relevant information throughout the various stages of construction as they emerge, including frequent commute plans we’ve created for commuters. Let us know how we can support you during this change in our environment!

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staffer Augusta

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 10:26 AM | by augusta | Add a Comment

Compiled from King County and other sources.

King County Metro has launched Puget Sound’s first-ever mobile payment app! Now, transit riders can use their phones to purchase and redeem tickets without needing cash. This mobile payment system will work on King County Metro buses, King County Water Taxi, Seattle Streetcar and Sound Transit Link light rail and Sounder trains. Be aware that Sound Transit Express buses are not yet participating and that mobile payments will not transfer between agencies. Riders in need of an interagency day pass will still need to purchase one with an ORCA card for $8. However, users will still have a two-hour transfer window on Metro routes. Additionally, the app has the capability to store tickets, so users can buy tickets in bulk and activate multiple tickets simultaneously.

Download the app here.

Fares:

  • Metro will offer all of its standard ticket types
  • King County Water Taxi will offer single fare tickets at the cash price (ORCA users would still get a discount)
  • Sound Transit will offer day passes only on Link ($6.50) and Sounder ($11.50), priced at 2x the maximum fare.
  • Sound Transit has decided not to extend mobile ticketing to ST Express at this time

For a complete list of available tickets on Metro, Sound Transit, Seattle Streetcar and KC Water Taxi check out this article by Seattle Transit Blog.

“We are customer driven, and feedback will help make this new tool even more effective at serving the needs of riders,” said Metro General Manager Rob Gannon.

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staff

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 10:13 AM | by Paige Anderson | Add a Comment

Planning of Commute – Anxiety Level 6/10

I would consider myself an intermediate Seattle bus traveler. I used to ride the bus every day to get to work in South Lake Union, or to neighboring areas like Capitol Hill and Queen Anne, but never one to take me across multiple cities. So in regards to intercity public transportation, I’m a novice at best. So the night before my second day at my new job in Bellevue, I decided to map out my path of travel and outline any red flags such as road closures and “what if” scenarios if buses were late. Using this time resting my eyes, meditating, maybe actually having breakfast – sounded a lot more tempting than driving during rush hour to get back home in Seattle. I used every source I could think of: Google Maps, One Bus Away, Metro Trip Planner – anything that could give me a good sense of timing.

Morning of Commute – Anxiety Level 7/10

I found that I could take the bus right outside my door down to the University Street tunnel station and transfer easily to a bus that came about every 8-15 minutes to downtown Bellevue. As I waited, I noticed I didn’t have reception down in the tunnel station. I glanced across the way and saw a sign that said free Wi-Fi on the platform! PERFECT! I quickly logged in and checked my One Bus Away app and notice that my bus was running behind. If I had checked before I could have made it in time for the bus ahead of it, but after getting a little confused with which way to head off of the bus, I just barely missed it. A gentleman next to me mentioned that usually this bus is right on time, so I’ll count today as an anomaly. Once it arrived a few minutes later, the bus was a bit crowded, but I was able to get on. As we were cruising swiftly by traffic on I-90 I realized that we were quickly making up time for the late departure. I arrived at the Bellevue Transit Center and at work a few minutes late, but not bad for a first timer.

Week 2 of Commuting to Bellevue– Anxiety Level 1/10

Two weeks later – When I wake up, I quickly check my One Bus Away (an app a fellow bus rider suggested to me), to see when my bus is arriving, I keep it on hand as it updates regularly and I can easily walk out my door about 2 minutes beforehand. I now have a routine down and can sometimes catch an extra wink or two in the morning due to how consistent my travel time is now into work. The 550 has been on time (give or take 2-3 minutes) every day, and I’ve always scored an open seat.  I’m glad I didn’t let one hiccup deter me from trying the route again, but it comes by so often that even if you do miss a bus, you know the next one is just right around the corner.

Tips:

  • No “Cutsy’s”! –Unspoken protocol for commuters traveling to and from the Eastside, make sure to wait in whatever line is forming for the bus at your platform. When your bus arrives, some may get on, others won’t, just step forward and make sure not to jump ahead of anyone that is getting on the same bus! On day 1, this formal line was a foreign concept to me as it’s usually a free for all on Seattle downtown buses, but I quickly learned that you either get in line, or wait until the end of it to get on.

Overhead space for extra items

  • Have extra bags or books? The Sound Transit buses have overhead space compartments for just those things. Another plus was overhead extra lighting, so make sure to bring that book or set of notes to review!
  • Stand clear of the back doors or they won’t be able to close.
  • Have your fare ready!
  • Also, make sure to enjoy the view!

    View off the I-90 bridge

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staffer Sandee

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 9:59 AM | by Sandee Ditt | Add a Comment

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