Archive for the ‘Commute Benefits’ Category

For those of you who may be interested in exploring your region or expanding your commute options, purchasing an ORCA (One Regional Card for All) card is a great place to start. For $5, you will receive a reloadable card that can be used to pay your fare when traveling by bus, ferry, rail, train or any combination of those. It is accepted on Community Transit, Everett Transit, King County Metro Transit, Kitsap Transit, Pierce Transit, Sound Transit and even Washington State Ferries.

It’s easier than cash (just tap it on the ORCA reader and you’re good to go) and gives you added security, since you can keep the credit on your card, if you register it, even if it’s lost or stolen. Whether you’re exploring for a day or looking to simplify your daily commute year-round, ORCA is a good option for you.

Regional Day Pass

The regional Day Pass is a good choice for anyone who may be visiting the region, and using multiple modes of public transportation or planning to take several trips in a day. When you load your card with the $8 regional pass, you can use it all day for any fare costing less than $3.50. This is the best option for friends or family visiting from out of town to get around without having to worry about parking.

Monthly passes

The amount you pay for your Puget Pass depends on your daily commute. For example. If you live in King County and commute to Bellevue, a Puget Pass will cost $117 and cover all fares below $3.25. Rates start as low as $18 for those who may just want $.50 off each ride and go up to a $360 monthly pass that gives you unlimited use for even the highest fares of $10 each way. This option has the potential to save you A LOT. Check out a detailed price list of monthly Puget Pass and other fares here.

E-Purse Value

For those of you who want the convenience of tapping a card without the commitment of a daily or monthly pass, you can add value to an “E-Purse” that is stored on your card and used like cash to pay your fare. You can use it pay for your whole fare, or in combination with one of the other passes. The minimum value you can add at a time is $5, with a maximum stored value per card of $300. Your fare won’t be discounted, but you will have the ease and security of one card for all your transportation options. We recommend keeping your card loaded with at least $5, since you never know when it might come in handy to pay for a longer, more expensive trip.

Check out the product options to find out the best way for you to ORCA. Need to find out how to get a card, add value, or report yours lost or stolen? This is the best place to start. Want to learn more? Visit our ORCA page or send questions to the info@cywb.org.

Are you new to transit? Take your first rides on us! We’re offering new users free ORCA cards pre-loaded with $25. Simply fill out this request form and we’ll mail one to you!

Choose Your Way Bellevue Staff

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017 10:20 AM | by admin | Add a Comment

Hi everyone, I’m that lazy cyclist who recently started with Choose Your Way Bellevue. Now that I have had a chance to get settled in my new “roll” here (get it, it’s a pun) on the west coast, I have learned that there are a bunch of pretty neat and innovative things that the City of Bellevue offers residents and local employees through the Choose Your Way Bellevue program.

Here is the rundown of my top five:

  1. If you are new to transit (have ridden more than 3 times in the past 3 months) we’ll give you a free ORCA card that’s pre-loaded with $25! Just fill out the online form and we’ll mail you a card for free! Did I mention it was free?
  2. This region has more transit related apps than you can shake a stick at. I’m still working my way through the list on our Apps & Technology page, but I’ve found that the OneBusAway app is really helpful!
  3. Want to stay in the loop, at home or on the go? We’ve got a pretty substantial social media presence that is more than just transit alerts and upcoming closures—it’s actually interesting! Check out Choose Your Way Bellevue on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
  4. Win prizes, just for logging the commuter trips that you are already taking! We have drawings and monthly rewards that you can earn just by logging eight days of non-drive along travel.  Come on people, that’s only two days a week each month.
  5. Finally, if you’ve been thinking about changing up how you commute, let us know and we’ll actually plan out all your options for you with our custom Commute Plan service. It couldn’t be easier.

Choose Your Way Bellevue Staffer, Tim

Tim recently relocated to Bellevue from the east coast where he was with local county government, encouraging people to try bicycling for transportation. Tim has enjoyed experiencing the Seattle region’s bike lanes and trails from his handlebars.

Monday, October 23rd, 2017 9:33 AM | by Tim Kelley | 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

Earth Day is Saturday, April 22, like most American’s you might be struggling to find what more you can do to help the environment. You’ve might have started by getting a compost bin to start that garden mulch from your kitchen scraps. Maybe even buying more items that can be recycled and not thrown away. You’re also about 99% sure that every light bulb in your house is energy efficient (except for maybe that bathroom one) and you’ve bought extra blankets so you can keep that thermostat low. What else can you do? One overlooked way, which might be considered a pioneering discovery for those that have tried it and love it, and is yet the most effective way to help protect the earth and reduce global warming, is to try an alternative commute mode to driving alone.

Declaring June Ride Transit Month, Transportation Choices Coalition and other community partners along with bus drivers and riders will be encouraging people to ride public transit during the month of June to help cut individual costs, protect the environment and curb pollution.

Reduces greenhouse gas emissions

With traffic congestion getting worse in cities across the country, cars and light trucks now account for about 30 percent of air pollution nationwide. The average urban commuter is said to waste about 42 hours a year stuck in traffic. That’s an additional 42 hours of a mobile office, free of interruption, time spent watching your favorite show, catching up on that book you’ve been meaning to read, or even some extra shut eye (since we all know everyone could use some more of that).

Immediate saving activity

Switching to public transportation offers an immediate alternative for individuals seeking to reduce their energy use and carbon footprints. The annual savings for an individual who switches to taking public transportation, on average, is more than $812 per month. Switching to transit is easily the most effective thing you can do to fight climate change and place more money and time in your pocket.

Students and families

For every mile not driven, approximately one pound of carbon dioxide is not emitted into the atmosphere. You can create your own “Act of Green” through personal action like:

  • Walking to school one day the week of April 22
  • Biking with another family
  • Carpooling with another family

Logging your trips on Choose Your Way Bellevue will help you keep track of your carbon footprint and how much your saving!

So, avoid the hassle and cost of parking and try taking the bus, light rail or start a vanpool and reap the many benefits, including reducing your carbon foot print.

Post photos of your Earth Day ride on Facebook and tweet them using hashtags #CYWBtransit and #BellevueEarthDay.

– Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Sandee

Friday, April 21st, 2017 2:42 PM | by Sandee Ditt | Add a Comment

But you’re wondering – “Emergency Ride Home – how does that work?”

Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Augusta breaks it down for you:

CIM ERHOnce you’ve pledged you can join the I-405 Diamond Club!  – Upon your completion of the pledge, you are invited to join the I-405 Diamond Club through your RideshareOnline.com account. Here’s the rundown to get your first Emergency Ride Home (ERH) credit.

  1. Visit the “Rewards” tab at the top of your account.
  2. Click on “Incentive Programs” to view the I-405 Diamond Club incentive.
  3. Click “Submit Request” to join.
  4. Upon approval, you will receive your first Emergency Ride Home code, which you can access through Rewards > Pending Rewards (to choose your reward) > Reward History (to redeem your reward): (click to enlarge)View Redeem Instructions_diamond Club
  5. Continue to log your eight pledged days each month to earn another code each month through April 30, 2016, keeping your eligibility active.

We encourage you to write down your codes as you receive them, with the phone number and directions. Save your promo codes in your email, on your smartphone, or in your wallet on this handy card so that it is easily accessible in an emergency. Do not upload it to your Uber or Lyft account until you are ready to use it.

These are not free rides for planned trips or personal errands; the ERH is intended for you to have taxi rides home from work in your pocket in case of an eligible emergency. (Be sure to review these so you understand which trips qualify for as eligible emergencies).

Redeeming your ERH credit

If and when you are experiencing an eligible emergency, here is how to redeem your ride code (this is very similar to how you redeemed your first Diamond Club code, above):

  • Log into your account
  • Hover over “Rewards” on the top blue bar; click on “Pending Rewards.”
  • After you’ve chosen, hover over “Rewards” on the top blue bar; then click on “Rewards History.” Next to CIM – Emergency Ride Home click “View Redeem Instructions” to find the directions on how to redeem your ride.

A friendly note: Emergency Ride Home promo codes do not pay for tips. If you choose to tip, you may do so with your own credit card.

seattle yellow cabFor taxi rides you will have to call (425) 450-4555, identify yourself to the taxi dispatcher and state the name of the program–Community In Motion Emergency Ride Home program—when they ask for the “Employer”. We have agreements with Far West and Yellow Cab in the King County area. If this is an eligible trip, you will be able to get a ride home up to 60 miles in length. A friendly reminder that the tip is not included with this credit.

 

For Uber and Lyft codes, you’ll arrange your own ride through your personal Uber or Lyft accounts. You’ll use the ERH promo code to pay for rides up to 60 miles or $100. If your ride exceeds this amount you’ll be required to pay the difference.Uber

What should you do BEFORE you need an Emergency Ride Home while using Uber or Lyft?

  • Download the Uber and/or Lyft app(s). Create Uber and/or Lyft account(s) using your own credit card.
  • Redeem your code in your RideshareOnline.com account.

How to arrange an Emergency Ride Home?

  • Hail a ride using your Uber or Lyft app.
  • Using the Uber or Lyft app, “pay” for the ride using your ERH code. If the trip exceeds $100 or 60 miles, pay the difference with your credit card through your Uber or Lyft account.
  • At the conclusion of the Uber or Lyft ride, you may have the option to tip the driver using your own money.Lyft

If you haven’t pledged yet, and you are interested in the emergency ride home and haven’t taken the pledge yet, you can take the pledge here. Email getinmotion@kingcounty.gov with questions on the Communities In Motion program or the Emergency Ride Home. Ride credits expire June 15, 2016.

 

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015 7:18 PM | by augusta | Add a Comment

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