In this blog, we do a dive into the inner workings of Travis and Ashley’s morning travels to work from Sammamish to Bellevue. Travis is the newest member of the Choose Your Way Bellevue/TransManage team and makes the daily commute as part of a carpool with his girlfriend Ashley.
Read on for our interview with this dynamic duo:
CYWB: Where are you coming from and where do you each go? What is your route to/from work and when are you typically on the road?
- T: We live in Sammamish, right in the middle of the city so it’s the same time if we go up through Redmond or down through Issaquah. So we keep things fresh and do both, we have it down to a science.
- A: We live in the Sammamish Plateau, and both work in/near Bellevue (Travis is at the BDA, and I am just down the road at a church in Medina.) Because of where we live in comparison to the lake, we can either go up-and-around the lake, passing through Redmond and hopping on 520, or we can go down through Issaquah and onto I-90. So, to keep things spicy, we do both! We take I-90 in the morning around 8:30 and use 520 at around 4:45-5:00 PM to get home.
CYWB: What are some of the benefits of carpooling together?
- T: There are a ton of benefits, among them are saving money and time (shout out carpool lane, not HUV lane like Ash pronounces it)
- A: Two words that I’ll make three: Car. Pool. Lane.! (Anyone else out there pronounce the “HOV” like you’re saying “hovercraft”? No? Bueller?) I bet Travis has more relational/interpersonal benefits that he’ll list for you, he’s very sentimental like that.
CYWB: Do you have any special routines that are part of the trip that you can share?
- T: My routine is to make sure that we can get out the door in a timely manner. I see varying results. Other than that, we listen to the radio and have conversations about our days ahead.
- A: Travis and I like to play a game in the morning where he desperately tries to get us out the door so that we’re on time for work, while I sleepily try to thwart all his plans, pulling the covers over my face and demanding coffee. This counts as a routine, right?
CYWB: Was there anything surprising that you discovered about carpooling? Either about the trip itself or about each other?
- T: I think the surprising part was how much easier it is that I thought. We share the one car between the two of us and I thought it would be really challenging just owning one car, but it has been a pleasant surprise in just how easy and simple it has made things.
- A: In addition to what Travis has already said, I’m also really thankful for the ways it’s taught us to be more mindful of ourselves and of one another as a couple. Our jobs can be pretty demanding, and before Travis and I shared a car, there would be nights I’d stay in my office until traffic had all but cleared on the highways (which, if you live here, you know that’s LATE). It’s much easier to ignore self-care and healthy work-life boundaries when there’s no one to account to. However, now that we ride together, it’s easier to recognize those boundaries and fight to preserve them. At the end of the day, it’s not just about my rest but his as well. Our responsibility for one another helps recalibrate the work-life balance that so many people in our over-worked, under-rested society struggle to maintain.
CYWB: Who is the driver and who is the passenger? How do you decide who drives?
- T: Ashley is the driver on the way to work and I am the driver on the way home. We sort of decided to split it up that way because we didn’t want any one of us to drive often. Also, Ashley has a false sense of her ability to drive while not spilling her coffee….. I usually have the napkins handy.
- A: I’m the driver in the morning because I know how to drive with a full mug of coffee without spilling it on myself (most of the time).
CYWB: How do you recommend that someone get started finding a carpool or rideshare to work?
- T: I would recommend that someone who is interested to check out the Waze Carpool app and Scoop. Another way would be to ask around with people in your building or neighbors. [Editor’s note: check out several different programs and tools to help you find a ridematch on our Apps & Technology page!]
- A: I would say start where you live and work – you may be surprised how many people share your route or at least overlap with it! If that doesn’t work, I’m sure there’s an app (or twenty) that can link you with folks in your area who’d like to enjoy the HOV(er) lane as much as I do!
Thanks you two–we’ll check in again later to see how things are going!
To our readers: If you’re interested in carpooling or vanpooling, be sure to enter your ridematch information in the regional RideshareOnline system so you can find others commuting in your direction, and they can find you! Check out our infographic on how to enter your ridematch trip information in RSO. For other ridesharing tips and to learn about other tools such as iCarpool, Scoop and Waze,” check out our Share the Ride page.
-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staffer Tim