Archive for the ‘Commute Advantage’ Category

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.

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

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

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

BIKE_BUS_DSC_0305_nSometimes it is overwhelming to think about all of the travel options available in Bellevue. Sure it might seem easier to just jump in your car and head to your destination stress free. But at Choose Your Way Bellevue, we’re here to help you find an even more stress-free approach! What if we told you that bus stop that sits right across from your house goes directly into Downtown Bellevue? That book you’ve been eyeing for the last month, well now you can pick it up, relax and enjoy it on your ride into the city. Not only that, you’ll be saving yourself some serious bucks and your sanity when you avoid the congestion on the roads.

Whatever your situation, we’re here as your one-stop-shop for all of your traveling resources. Need to figure out which bus stops in your area? Or looking to find someone to fill that last seat in your car? If you’re still not sold, read on for Choose Your Way by the numbers as we break it down for you!

  • 44 bus routes serve Bellevue, which means you have options, allowing you to save money and time!
  • What about the 281 operating vanpools with 2,166 seats traveling to and from Bellevue each day?
  • 48 miles of bike lanes run through Bellevue for your cycling trips. Plus, you can burn some  calories when riding a bike!
  • According to AAA, it costs an average of $8,946 a year in upkeep for your vehicle, while riding a bike is on average $308. Check out this post where we break down the cost of commuting.
  • There are more than 2,000 Bellevue workers and residents currently seeking a carpool partner in On The Move Bellevue. Sign up today to find yours. Looking to fill your car with a third passenger so you can jump on the new I-405 Express Toll Lanes? Create a ridematch trip in your On The Move Bellevue account!
  • 346 miles of sidewalks in and around Bellevue is accessible to those walking to work, the grocery store, the park or other local establishments. Enjoy fresh air and try to get some exercise while you’re out and about!
  • According to the National Safety Council data, it is 170 times safer to ride public transit than a car.
  • 80 miles of parks and trails are in Bellevue for you to explore on your commute or buzz around your neighborhood. Perhaps there is an errand you can run on that bike that is sitting in your garage. Are you in need of an ingredient from the grocery store for your favorite meal? Bike down to the store instead of driving and turn your errands into an opportunity for exercise!
  • 9 Zipcars are available around downtown Bellevue for those unexpected, mid-day meetings in Seattle. Relax on a bus into work and then reserve one of their vehicles for your mid-day client meeting. For Zipcar locations and information on how to join visit here.
  • In a study published by the British Medical Journal men were most likely to be seven pounds lighter than those who don’t take public transportation, while women weighed in at five pounds lighter. All that walking to and from each bus stop really pays off!

Bellevue workers and residents can— for the most part—  travel within city limits with ease. How do you find your way around the city? Are you willing to explore your options? Haven’t made a change to your travel patterns in a while? The possibilities are endless; and the numbers speak for themselves.

Fill out a commute inquiry and we will get back to you with a customized travel plan today.

We’re here to help you at Choose Your Way Bellevue!

-Choose your Way Bellevue Staffer, Jackie

 

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015 9:00 PM | by admin | Add a Comment

Are you interested in telework but have questions about how a work from home program could be successfully implemented at your company? Choose Your Way Bellevue works with telework expert Rick Albiero, CEO of the Telecomuting Advantage Group (TAG). Submit your telework questions to our expert here, or read on for previous Q&A’s requested publicly on the Telework Bellevue Ask an Expert page. And be sure to check back for more telework questions and answers from our expert. The Q&A’s are featured here on the Choose Your Way Bellevue blog on a monthly basis.

Question 4:  We are concerned about data security and the amount of traffic our Intranet system can handle. Is this typically a major investment that companies need to make associated with telecommuting?

Rick’s Reply: The technology that supports telework/telecommuting programs has not only become much less expensive over the last several years, but it is also much more robust, user-friendly, and in many cases does not require the purchase of new hardware. Financial and health institutions have found that these systems are robust enough to meet federal requirements.  We also work with several architecture and engineering companies that have no problem with data security needs or handling very large drawing files. Other benefits of these systems are that they track and control access to files, provide file revision control and allow employees to be productive while travelling, working remotely and at client sites. Microsoft, Citrix Online, Adobe and other software providers offer online collaboration tools that support teleworkers at a very low price point. If you have more specific questions or would like additional information feel free to contact TAG.

Friday, February 4th, 2011 5:57 PM | by admin | Add a Comment

Are you interested in telework but have questions about how a work from home program could be successfully implemented at your company? Choose Your Way Bellevue works with telework expert Rick Albiero, CEO of the Telecomuting Advantage Group (TAG). Submit your telework questions to our expert here, or read on for previous Q&A’s requested publicly on the Telework Bellevue Ask an Expert page. And be sure to check back for more telework questions and answers from our expert. The Q&A’s are featured here on the Choose Your Way Bellevue blog on a monthly basis.

Question 3: We hear about productivity gains from teleworkers.  Where do they come from and has anyone actually measured them?

Rick’s Reply: Productivity gains come from multiple sources.  Teleworkers experience fewer disruptions while they are working allowing them longer periods of concentration.  Teleworkers often have more flexible work hours, allowing them to accomplish job-tasks during their peak work hours.  The ongoing discussion of “morning vs. night” people does have a basis in the fact that some employees may be the most productive in the morning and others late in the afternoon or early evening.  Allowing employees the option of working during these hours, rather than being in the middle of the commute, is likely going to increase the amount of work they accomplish.  Add in more effective time management, reduced absenteeism and the feeling of empowerment they experience and employees experience an almost effortless level of increased productivity.

Many organizations have implemented telework metrics and collect productivity data and/or conduct employee surveys.  Some examples include American Express and Alpine Access who both report an increase of over 25% among teleworking sales and support agents.  Sun Microsystems found that teleworkers contribute 60% of the time that they used to spend commuting getting work done.  Best Buy’s average productivity is up 35% due to their flexible work program.

Friday, January 21st, 2011 1:45 PM | by admin | Add a Comment

Subscribe

Categories

Archives

Related Blogs