Archive for the ‘Bus’ Category

As part of East Link light rail construction, the Rainier Freeway station at I-90 will be closed starting Sept. 22 2018.  It will reopen as Judkins Park Link Station in 2023.  This may have a major impact on Bellevue residents, visitors and employees who use the Rainier Freeway Station.  Read on the find out how this may affect Bellevue readers, and what you need to know to change your travel plans if you are affected:

Most bus routes that currently serve the Rainier Freeway Station, like Route 550, will bypass the area, but Routes 554, 217, and select Route 212 trips will serve new stops on Rainier Avenue South and S Charles St. The transit-only roadway that connects the Rainier Freeway Station to Downtown Seattle will also close, leading to modest increases in travel time.

 

Route 550:

Route 550 will no longer stop at Rainier Avenue South due to the closure of the Rainier Freeway Station. 550 buses will continue to access all normal Downtown Seattle stops (International District, Pioneer Square, University Street,Westlake). This route also will not use the transit-only roadway on I-90 to get downtown. It will proceed on the I-90 mainline into Downtown Seattle.

For Bellevue Route 550 Riders:

  • If you stop at Rainier Avenue: Route 550 will no longer stop at Rainier Avenue South. To access the Rainier Valley, you may take Route 550 to North Mercer Wayand 80th Avenue SE (Mercer Island Park and Ride) and transfer to Route 554. You may also ride the 550 to the International District Station and transfer to a Rainier Valley bound service such as Link or Route 7 or 106.
  • If you ride between Bellevue and Downtown Seattle or other parts of the Eastside your stops will not change, but expect slightly longer travel times.

Route 554:

While route 550 will bypass the area, Route 554 will exit I-90 at Rainier Avenue South and access downtown Seattle via South Dearborn Street, including new stops at Rainier Avenue South and South Charles Street.

Bellevue-Eastgate Route 554 riders:

  • If you get on or off the bus at Rainier Avenue: Route 554 will serve a pair of bus stops at Rainier Avenue South and South Charles Street all day, every day, and will continue to serve the Eastgate Freeway Station. The 212 and 217 will also continue to go from Rainier Avenue to the Eastgate Park & Ride in the mornings, and fromEastgate to Rainier Avenue in the afternoons. Routes 216, 218, and 219 will no longer serve Rainier Avenue.
  • If you travel to Eastgate on this route from Downtown Seattle: Route 554 will pick up riders at existing stops along 2nd Avenue and a new stop at 2nd Ave Extension South and Yesler Way in Downtown Seattle, making similar stops as today.
  • If you travel to Downtown Seattle on this route from Eastgate: Route 554 will drop off riders on the eastside of 4th Avenue in Downtown Seattle.
  • If you travel within the Eastside: your route will not change.

Going eastbound, Route 554’s last stop in downtown Seattle will move to Second Avenue Extension South and Yesler Way from Fifth Avenue South and South Jackson Street. The nine King County Metro routes that serve I-90 will also change.  View those changes by visiting the King County Metro Service Change Page (Scroll down to Route Revisions and filter the list by “Rainier Freeway Station Closure”)

Overall, frequency will decrease slightly and trip times will be adjusted to maintain on-time performance. You can also keep up to date on the latest changes by joining Sound Transit’s Service Planning, Route 550, or Route 554 email lists.

Much of this information has been collected from the Sound Transit I-90 Services Change website.  If you have questions email us at info@cywb.org! Are you affected by the closure and need some help figuring out travel options? Submit a request for a custom Commute Inquiry and we’ll do the planning for you!

-Choose You Way Bellevue Staffer Tim

Monday, September 24th, 2018 1:51 PM | by Tim Kelley | Add a Comment

Ride Transit Pledge

June is Ride Transit Month in Washington State—a time to celebrate transit riders, showcase the benefits of riding transit, and encourage people who don’t normally ride to give it a try. Transit agencies, Transportation Management Associations, transportation advocates, and employers across the state partner together to celebrate transit riders with events, prizes, and encouragement.

Ride Transit Day is the flagship event on June 7th and transit partners across the region host celebration stations near transit stops to show rider appreciation. Look for a Celebration Station at the Bellevue Transit Center on the afternoon of June 7th.

Stations will provide resources for new riders and a pledge card that enters riders in prize giveaways. Riders can also enter to win prizes all month long if they log their trips on RideshareOnline, take the pledge, complete weekly actions, and/ or use the #RideTransit hashtag to share their transit stories.

Whether you’re a regular rider or new to transit, thank you for helping Washington State lead the nation. Now it’s time to celebrate YOU, our community of transit riders! Just choose your favorite mode—bus, light rail, train, ferry, vanpool, or water taxi—and enjoy the ride.

 

Sign up!  www.RideTransitMonth.org

 

Need some convincing? The benefits of transit are already well known, but here’s a refresher:

Reducing Congestion
One full bus carries the same number of people as 60+ cars. Transit’s impact on reducing congestion has also resulted in significant savings for drivers and their communities. Public transit saves Americans 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually!

Savings in Your Pocket
Individuals who switch from driving to taking public transit can save, on average almost $9,986 a year, and up to $828 a month.

Happier & Healthier
Public transportation tends to increase physical activity, since most public transit trips involve walking links and transit systems often provide amenities such as bike racks on buses and lockers at stations.

Although Americans only walk an average of about 6 daily minutes overall, public transit users spend a median of 19 daily minutes walking, which nearly achieves the target of 22 daily minutes of moderate physical activity.

A Cleaner Planet!
Transit is reducing energy consumption and harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) greenhouse gas emissions that damage the environment.

See you on the bus!

 -Choose Your Way Bellevue Staff

Friday, June 1st, 2018 6:00 AM | by Tim Kelley | Add a Comment

Did you know that you can have a chance to earn awesome rewards just by logging your commute? If you sign up with Choose Your Way Bellevue, you will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $100 REI gift card just by participating and logging your non-drive-alone commute at least 8 times a month.

Take a page out of Matt’s book; Matt, our May Mover of the Month, commutes regularly from Issaquah to Bellevue by bus. By choosing to commute by bus, Matt has saved thousands per year!

Here is Matt’s story:

Mat

We hope Matt took the bus to get the Angkor Wat!

 

What is your green commute (what is your mode and where are you coming from/going to)?

“My wife and I recently moved from Bellevue to Issaquah. Without knowing it, we chose an apartment within a block of a bus stop that’s turned out to be extremely convenient. I walk out my door in the morning and walk 1 block to the bus stop. I catch the Sound Transit 554 to Eastgate Park & Ride where I transfer to either the 240 or 271 to Downtown Bellevue. My route home in the evenings is the exact reverse.“

Why do you choose to commute this way?

“My commuting by bus has allowed us to downsize to a one car household. My company pays for my monthly bus pass so we save thousands per year on insurance, gas, parking, registration, and maintenance on a second car. I also don’t have the headache of having to fight traffic before I’ve had coffee in the morning!”

What is something unexpected you’ve discovered since you began commuting via this mode?

“One interesting thing that I’ve learned to do since beginning to bus commute is read on the bus. I used to get queasy if I tried to read in a car or on the bus. But, over time, I’ve gotten over it and read for pretty much my entire commute.”

Tell us a bit about yourself – what are some of your hobbies? Do you have any holiday plans?

“I’m a volunteer trail steward for 6 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail east of the Greenwater area. So a lot of my holiday this summer will be days spent doing trail maintenance in the woods. My wife and I are also planning a trip to the Coeur d’Alene area later this summer. I enjoy hiking in the Issaquah Alps, camping, reading, and trying out new hobbies. “

A huge thank you to Matt for sharing his commute with us! We hope his experience can serve as inspiration for you to try out your own alternative mode of transit – why not start with the bus! June is Ride Transit Month, and Choose Your Way Bellevue provides an ORCA card to certain new transit users through our Try Transit program.

Would you like to be the Choose Your Way Bellevue Mover of the Month? Log at least eight non-drive-alone trips on your calendar and you’ll automatically be entered into the drawing for next month.

Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Emma

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018 9:25 AM | by Tim Kelley | Add a Comment

Each month we choose a trip-logger at random to share their commute story and receive a $100 REI gift card to keep up the momentum on their non-drive-alone commute. This month’s winner is Kim B. who takes the bus from Kent to Bellevue when she goes into work, but also telecommutes at least once a week (taking no trip also counts as a non-drive-alone trip!). Here’s her story:

“I have been commuting by bus since 2003 and just in the last couple of years have added working from home.  I bus to work because traffic is awful, I can multitask while on the bus and it saves me money.  My work pays for my bus pass, so it is a great solution for me.  Working from home has been a blessing as well.

I enjoy spending time with my family, friends and my pets.  We spend time with our 11-year-old golden retriever by taking her to the ocean, lakes and the mountains to play in the snow.  We also have two kitties that we adopted and keep us busy.  We also like to travel a few times a year to tropical destinations and more recently, trying to see all 50 states.

I recommend taking the bus to work for anyone doing the I-405 commute.  It saves wear and tear on your vehicle, money for gas and also less chance of an accident in your car.”

Thanks, Kim!

Would you like to be the Choose Your Way Bellevue Mover of the Month? Log at least eight non-drive-alone trips on your calendar and you’ll automatically be entered into the drawing for next month.

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staff

Monday, April 9th, 2018 12:49 PM | by admin | Add a Comment

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:

“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

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018 2:33 PM | by admin | Add a Comment

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