Archive for the ‘Choose Your Way Bellevue’ Category

Seattle’s Ruff Rider

Eclipse with her Orca card

It started with Eclipse’s owner smoking a cigarette a little too long one day which made this impatient pooch jump onto the bus without her owner. Eclipse’s owner followed suit on the next bus and noticed that Eclipse was already waiting at the dog park. Eclipse’s owner usually rides with her, but on the off chance she’s solo, Eclipse jumps onto the Rapid Ride D line, sits quietly and waits for her stop all on her own. Although Eclipse should really be on a leash, dogs are able to ride at the discretion of the driver and under certain guidelines. For those that are new to transit and want to join Eclipse in finding an alternative commute Choose Your Way Bellevue is currently offering a great promotion for new transit users*. Visit our homepage to find out more.

 

Friday, August 25th, 2017 2:12 PM | by Sandee Ditt | Add a Comment

You might not believe it, but there was a time when there were only a handful of options to move about in the city. Mobile technology and transit growth means Bellevuites have arguably more choices than ever before. We have put together some popular questions that have been asked about rideshare programs and some ideas on how to get you moving.

The park-and-ride is always full; how can I ensure I’ll have a place to park if I share the ride to the park-and-ride?

Try starting a VanShare. A great promotion is going on right now for commuters sharing a ride to a Park-and-Ride in the I-90/I-405 corridor. Start a van with just two other riders and you can get the first three months free while you recruit more riders! On top of receiving a $50 MasterCard Rewards card, each member will receive a free Orca card with $25 pre-loaded. Need another reason? Your van is parked at qualifying Park-and-Rides for FREE at a reserved spot!

I don’t have enough people to start a VanShare or VanPool, but still want a reserved spot for my carpool.

You’re in luck, right now you can obtain carpool parking permit for carpooling to a park-and-ride with one additional passenger and get a reserved carpool space and skip driving around and searching for a parking spot. King County (Metro) is providing free permits at participating and Sound Transit is providing passes at $5 for their Park-and-Rides. Need a little push to start that carpool? Qualifying carpool drivers can receive a free Good To Go! pass while supplies last. If you will be carpooling at least one day per week between Bellevue and Lynnwood and, you could qualify for this free pass! Skip the traffic and jump into that express lane and get to work quicker without having to pay the toll!

But, I need my car for my lunch meeting or to run a quick errand in the middle of the day?

Zipcar is great option for those that need to run an errand during the day or don’t have access to a car. The hourly rate for a Zipcar is normally between $7.50 – $10.50 depending on car type and city. A few garages and surface lots hold a Zipcar that you can reserve a head of time and there might just be one close to or in the building you’re in! Uber and Lyft are also great resources for longer appointments where pick up and drop off happen right in front of your building. These carshare services available in Downtown Bellevue  is a great resource to use instead of having to drive your car to work, pay for gas, parking, tolls and car maintenance. To help increase car share services in the Eastside take the Eastside Carshare Survey and you can help bring more carshare options to Bellevue!

I still want to take the bus, but my Park-and-Ride is too full and the garage at my building is too expensive.

For those that need to get closer to a bus route, Metro has partnered with Diamond parking to give commuters the option of buying reserved parking spaces closer to your transit line. The first month is free and the following monthly rates are lower than most private garages in Bellevue. Check out our other blog post on the lots with convenient access to Downtown Seattle.

Friday, July 21st, 2017 12:40 PM | by Sandee Ditt | Add a Comment

A South Bellevue Park & Ride Alternative Story

The South Bellevue Park-and-Ride will be closing on May 30th, 2017. We would like to provide those who are affected by this closure some ideas for exploring a new commute, provided through our fictional commuter, “Caffeinated Carey.”.

Caffeinated Carey’s New Morning Commute

Current Route – 23 min from South Bellevue Park-and-Ride to King County Courthouse in Seattle

New Route – 44 minutes from Wilburton Park-and-Ride to King County Courthouse in Seattle

Every morning, I wake up, grab my cup of coffee and hop into my car to start my morning commute to the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride. This park-and-ride is usually full, but I can normally find parking if I get there before 8:30 a.m. A few weeks ago, a sign was posted alerting bus commuters that it was going to close for at least five years due to construction of the new East Link light rail station. I was slightly comforted in knowing that the future South Bellevue Station will include bus and paratransit transfer facilities and a 1,500-stall parking garage (almost 1,000 more than current stalls). But all I could think about was what about how my current commute was going to change during those five years.

I figured now is as good a time as any to try my new commute so I could be prepared for the closure when it happens.

I started researching the new park-and-ride lots Sound Transit has secured, as well as those park-and-rides with existing capacity, to help with the displacement of cars from the lot.

Sound Transit’s resources include a web page about the closure and their East Link Replacement Parking Interactive Map.  I located the nearest park-and-ride to me on the interactive map, the Wilburton Park-and-Ride, which is only an additional five-minute drive from the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride. This trip did require a transfer, but according to Google Maps, it looked like the best option.

The following morning, I packed everything a few minutes earlier and headed to the new station to catch the 8:04 a.m. King Country Metro 240. Parking was relatively easy, though I made a note to remember the parking lot is much smaller than the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride. I walked about 5 minutes to SE 8th St & 118th Ave SE. I wanted to make sure I head I got on the quickest route, so I used my One Bus Away app that showed me arrival times of neighboring stations and bus stops. This bus then dropped me off a few minutes later at the Eastgate Park-and-Ride where I walked I caught route King Country Metro 212 dropped me off about two blocks away from my destination, and in less than five minutes I was at the Courthouse. Heading back home I had a few options, but I found that taking the Sound Transit 550 gets me faster to Bellevue in the evenings. I exited at the Bellevue Transit Center, and caught the King County Metro 246, or King County Metro 240, whichever came first since both buses travel to the Wilburton Park-and-Ride.

For now, this is a good substitution while I wait for the light rail to come across to the Eastside; and I still have time to grab my morning triple shot latte on ice before jumping on the bus!

-Sincerely, Caffeinated Carey

********

To those who can relate to Caffeinated Carey’s story due to the closure of South Bellevue and Park-and-Ride, Choose Your Way Bellevue is here to assist with making the transition to your new commute an easier one. The 550, 555, and 556, 241 and 249 will continue to serve Bellevue Way in front of the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride when it closes. There will not be a park-and-ride in that vicinity; however, I would encourage you to plan ahead and look for an alternative park-and-ride that may work for you. (Note that you may need to transfer buses from your alternative lot in order to get where you need to go.) Or, try sharing the ride!

In fact, your new route may turn out to be faster than your old one. Recently, a commuter discovered that parking at the Newport Hills Park-and-Ride and taking the King County Metro Route 111 was 15 minutes faster than her current commute parking at the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride and taking the Sound Transit 550!

Try checking for a new route from home, rather than the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride; you may be surprised what you find! Some other helpful resources for planning your route include:

If you are having trouble figuring out your new commute, we are here to help! You may request Choose Your Way Bellevue custom commute assistance at any time. Also check out our East Link and Travel Options page for resources and updates.

Stay tuned to our blog for more examples in the future of how people are adjusting their commutes regarding the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride closure.

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Sandee

Thursday, May 4th, 2017 4:23 PM | by Sandee Ditt | Add a Comment

JOT logo 250x75 horizontal carsello

Just by being a part of the Choose Your Way Bellevue network, you’re also eligible to participate in a program brought to you by our partners at King County: Just One Trip – Community In Motion! September 1, 2016 through February 28, 2017 the Community In Motion team is asking the you to join in the community movement and further reduce your drive alone trips. Just one trip is all it takes to get started!

The Community in Motion program was created for those live, work or play—and travel—along the urbanized corridors of I-405 and I-90 in King County. All Bellevue workers and residents are eligible. Over the last two years, 10,000 participants have already joined the program. If you can further reduce your drive-alone travel, we invite you to join them and take a test ride. Start by changing “Just One Trip” from driving alone to riding the bus, carpooling, vanpooling, biking or walking. Our Choose Your Way Bellevue team is here to help you explore travel options in your community and find alternatives to driving alone.

JOT modes only

Benefits of participating in Community In Motion program include:

  • Monthly drawings for those who log their non-drive-alone trips.
  • One Emergency Ride Home credit .
  • A reward following completion of the program. (Rewards are only available while supplies last)

Ready to Give it a Try? Get started with the pre-survey today: click here.

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staff

Friday, September 23rd, 2016 4:13 PM | by Paige Anderson | Add a Comment

ChooseYourWaySchoolPool

The changing of the seasons ushers in many things such as pumpkin flavored treats, nature’s parade of colors along your commute, and this year, SchoolPool!

The City of Bellevue and the Bellevue School District are collaborating to bring SchoolPool to the desktop of families at select pilot schools longing for a way out of the traffic woes generated during the commute to and from school. SchoolPool not only brings relief to families and the communities that support the schools, it also saves time and money. You can access Bellevue SchoolPool via the Choose Your Way Bellevue website.

What is Choose Your Way Bellevue SchoolPool?

CYWB SchoolPool is a free program that includes an online platform, open only to families at participating schools, to help them form ridematches with other families at their child’s school or participating nearby schools. Ridematches aren’t just for carpools; they are also for biking and walking groups with an adult leader.

SchoolPool Pilot is happening at the following schools:

  • Puesta del Sol
  • Somerset Elementary
  • Stevenson Elementary
  • Odle Middle
  • Tyee Middle
  • Newport High
  • Sammamish High
  • Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart

Our vision is to utilize SchoolPool to mitigate traffic congestion around schools make the commute to school easier, and help make our city more sustainable!

If you have children in one of the participating schools listed above and would like to participate, visit our SchoolPool webpage. To get started, fill out this form!

-Choose Your Way Bellevue and Bellevue SchoolPool Staff

Friday, September 23rd, 2016 3:57 PM | by Paige Anderson | Add a Comment

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