Although I normally ride the bus to work (here in Downtown Bellevue), I will drive in once in a blue moon when I need a car for some reason. Every time I have to drive to Downtown Bellevue, it drives me nuts.
I commute from Mercer Island and while the driving time is similar, when you factor in having to find a parking spot, not being able to use the carpool lane, and having to walk from the parking garage, it’s actually much faster for me to just hop on and off the bus.
I’m not saying that it will be faster for everyone to take public transit. I know that I’m one of the lucky ones in this sense. However, there are so many great reasons to take public transit even if it makes your commute a little more complicated. If you look into it, you might even find that your commute is made easier by not driving.
Here are some of the reasons why I love taking the bus:
- Helps the environment – I log my commute online and only halfway through March, I’ve already saved 3 gallons of gasoline and 40 pounds of carbon! That’s 960 pounds of carbon in a year!
- Helps my wallet – My commute log shows that I’ve saved $19 so far this month by not driving – by the end of the month I’ll have paid for my coffee for the month! My job pays for my ORCA transit pass so the savings are even better (ask your employer if they subsidize transit – you’ll find that a lot of them do)! On top of that, I’m not putting wear and tear on a car by driving it.
- Increases personal time – Since I don’t have to focus on driving, I can focus on other things! My commute can be spent catching up on the latest podcast, checking my email, reading a book, or (as often happens) sneaking in some extra sleep! It’s so nice not having to focus on the road.
- Free rewards – just for logging your non-drive-alone commute or committing to reduce drive-alone trips, you can get entered to win free stuff through Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards and Just One Trip (ex. REI gift cards, Amazon gift cards, gas cards, bus passes and more!) You also get monthly discounts to local restaurants and businesses. There are lots of options for bus riders as well as people who use other forms of commuting (vanpool, biking, etc.). Sign up now – who doesn’t like free stuff?
Tips to Get Started:
- Want to check out some of the options but not sure what would work best for you? Request a custom commute plan! (It’s free).
- If you live or work in Bellevue and are new to transit, Choose Your Way Bellevue will give you a preloaded $25 ORCA card! Learn more.
“When you’re sitting in your car complaining about traffic, just remember – you are traffic.” – a brilliant coworker of mine
–Emma, Choose Your Way Bellevue Staffer