Archive for the ‘Commute Planning’ Category

When traveling on express buses crossing county lines (such as the ST 535 to Lynnwood or ST 532 to Everett), the ORCA card reader is automatically set to charge you for the 2-county fare ($3.75). If you’re going north out of Downtown Bellevue and get off the bus at the Totem Lake Freeway Station in Kirkland, Brickyard Park-and-Ride in Bothell, Bothell Park-and-Ride, Beardslee Blvd, UW Bothell or the I-405 and NE 195th St flyer stop – you’re a one-zone rider ($2.75). Canyon Park is the beginning of the two-zone ride going north out of Bellevue.

Pro Tip: Are you traveling on multi-county bus but disembarking before the bus crosses the county line? Let the driver know when you board that you’re a “one-county” rider. The driver can adjust the fare for you, saving you $1 per trip! This can save you whether you pay with e

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Augusta

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017 12:02 PM | by augusta | Add a Comment

Compiled from WSDOT and Sound Transit sources

Over the weekend of June 3, the Washington State Department of Transportation and Sound Transit opened a new high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane in each direction of Interstate 90 between Mercer Island and Seattle, and permanently closed the express lanes. This allows Sound Transit to start construction of the 14-mile East Link light rail extension from Seattle to Redmond.

The new mainline HOV lanes will facilitate an I-90 commute that doesn’t depend on the direction of the express lanes, giving Eastside employees who reside in Seattle the option to take the bus or try a vanpool with increased reliability. The I-90 Trail remains open and unchanged for those who use it to bike, run or walk. Buses between Seattle and the Eastside will continue to use the same routes and stops they do today.

How has this affected your commute? We’d love to hear.

Read more about the project here.

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staff

Monday, June 19th, 2017 12:34 PM | by Paige Anderson | Add a Comment

With the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride scheduled to close on May 30, many commuters are gearing up for changes to their commute from the Eastside to Seattle. Commuters that use the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride should check out Sound Transit’s Interactive Parking Map to find new park-and-ride locations or visit the full list of all park-and-ride locations on the King County Metro website.

If you are trying to get from Bellevue to Seattle via a park-and-ride with direct transit service, you have some options: multiple park-and-ride locations support direct service to Downtown Seattle or the U District! We’ve gone through the list and identified which park-and-rides will move commuters from the Eastside directly to Seattle through buses routes on King County Metro Transit, Sound Transit [ST], and Community Transit [CT]:

 

South Sammamish Park-and-Ride
3015 228th Ave SE | Capacity: 265 Parking stalls

  • Direct to Downtown Seattle: 216, 219, 554 [ST]

Tibbetts Valley Park-and-Ride
965 12th Ave NW | Capacity: 594 Parking stalls

  • Direct to Downtown Seattle: 554 [ST]
  • Direct to U District: 555 [ST], 556 [ST]

S. Kirkland Park-and-Ride
10610 NE 38th Pl | Capacity: 833 Parking stalls

  • Direct to Downtown Seattle: 255
  • Direct to U District: 255, 986, 540 [ST]

NEW LOT: St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church Park-and-Ride
2650 148th Ave. SE, Bellevue, WA 98007| Capacity: 50 parking stalls

  • Direct to U District: 271

NEW LOT: Renton Bible Church Park-and-Ride
973 Union Ave NE, Renton, WA 98059 | Capacity: 50 parking stalls

  • Direct to Downtown Seattle: 114

Eastgate Congregational
15318 SE Newport Way, Bellevue, WA 98006 | Capacity: 20 Parking stalls

  • Direct to U District: 271

Newport Hills Park-and-Ride
5115 113th Pl SE Bellevue, WA 98006 |Capacity: 275 Parking stalls

  • Direct to Downtown Seattle: 111
  • Direct to U District: 167

The following park-and-ride facilities are very popular and tend to fill up early:

Mercer Island Park-and-Ride (Usually filled 90% or above by 9am on weekdays)
8000 N Mercer Way, Mercer Island, WA 98040 | Capacity: 447 Parking stalls

  • Direct to Downtown Seattle: 550 [ST], 554 [ST]

Grace Lutheran Church (Usually filled 90% or above by 9am on weekdays)
NE 8th St & 96th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98004 | Capacity: 50 Parking stalls

  • Direct to U District: 271

Evergreen Point Bridge (Usually filled 90% or above by 9am on weekdays)
SR-520 & Evergreen Point Rd Medina, WA 98039 |Capacity: 48 Parking stalls

  • Direct to Downtown Seattle: 252, 255, 257, 268, 311, 545 [ST], 424 [CT]
  • Direct to U District: 167, 252, 255, 257, 268, 277, 982, 311, 424 [CT], 540 [ST], 541 [ST], 542 [ST], 545 [ST], 555 [ST], 556 [ST]

Eastgate Park-and-Ride (Usually filled 90% or above by 9am on weekdays)
14200 SE Eastgate Way, Bellevue, WA 98007| Capacity: 1614 Parking stalls

  • Direct to Downtown Seattle: 554 [ST]
  • Direct to U District: 271, 555 [ST], 556 [ST]

Have questions? If you are a Bellevue commuter or employee and you want help crafting your own custom commute plan, submit a Commute Inquiry through Choose Your Way Bellevue, the City of Bellevue’s travel options and rewards website. Or send us an email (info@CYWB.org) for expert commute planning assistance.

-Choose Your Way Staffer Jacob B.

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017 5:21 PM | by admin | 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

Mariners opening day is fast approaching and now that I’m working in Bellevue, I wanted to get a jump start on my commute to the night games. I started by weighing my advantages and disadvantages of driving to the game. Dealing with rush hour traffic AND game day traffic sounded dreadful. I decided to test out my game day route when I came across some Sounders tickets. I jumped on Google Maps, adjusted the “arrive by” time, and saw the 550 from Bellevue Transit Center would get me to the game by 7:00 p.m. Along the way, I was surprised to see so many fans boarding the bus in Bellevue.

Mercer Island Park ‘n’Ride Sounder fans boarding the bus.

Most of the major transit hubs like Mercer Island Park and Ride have open spots after 5 p.m. Getting on and jumping off with the rest of the Sounder’s crowd was great, and getting dropped off 8 minutes from the stadium was even better. Not only did I arrive in time to have a drink before heading into the stadium, I even beat the friend I was meeting who was coming from downtown Seattle!

When leaving the game, I was glad that I wasn’t one of the cars stuck at the traffic lights or dodging fans in the parking lots. Jumping on the bus and heading home was a breeze. I live in Seattle, so it was a much quicker commute from the stadium on route 5, but I witnessed many people heading to the International District/Chinatown station to catch their bus and/or train out of Seattle.

Traveling home alone on the bus after the game at 10:00 p.m. also wasn’t very intimidating as there were so many fans on the street. A nice perk of taking a Metro bus home was being able to ask the bus driver about a block in advance to stop a bit closer to my house on the normal route. Metro’s program called Night Stop that runs between 8:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m. allows you to ask a Metro driver to stop somewhere nearer your destination, if it is safe for the bus to do so. It was a nice bonus at the end of the night!

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staffer Sandee

Friday, April 7th, 2017 4:58 PM | by Sandee Ditt | Add a Comment

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