Archive for the ‘Commute Benefits’ Category

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

It’s ba-aaack! King County Metro’s Just One Trip program is here again to reward you for changing just one trip (or more!) to an alternative mode to driving alone. It’ easy to get started:

  • Head to JustOneTrip.org and sign up for this year’s program. Signing up lets the team know which mode you’re interested in trying out or doing more of – transit, biking, walking, carpool, vanpool, etc.
  • After signing up, you’ll be mailed a reward to help you on your way. New this year: if you already have an ORCA card but can take transit more often, the team will load an e-purse value on your existing card rather than mailing you a new one!
  • You’ll also receive a $100 Emergency Ride Home code to use in case something unexpected happens, like getting sick at work.
  • Within two weeks after receiving your reward, make the effort to change drive-alone trips.
  • Just One Trip will email you a short survey to learn how things went for you; when you finish, you’ll be entered into a grand prize drawing for a $250 grocery gift card!

Already using alternatives as much as possible? Share your story and refer a friend to earn $25 REI gift cards!

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staff

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018 9:19 AM | by admin | Add a Comment

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

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