Archive for the ‘Construction’ Category

For decades, the car has been king throughout the United States, and our car-culture means that from age 16 we’re conditioned to consider “but where will I park” above nearly all else. It is  undeniable that driving allows for a personal, moveable space where you can sing loudly, drink a milkshake from the drive-thru and store multiple outfit options in the trunk, but with our transit survival kit you’ll be a pro on the bus no matter how car-attached you are.

  • Backpack: you need somewhere to store your stuff, and a backpack is practical for sitting, standing, and waiting. Learn how you can earn a free Choose Your Way Bellevue backpack!
  • Water bottle: you never know when you’ll feel parched, and with traffic as unpredictable as it is, best to have some thirst quenching water at the ready.
  • Hand sani: our local transit agencies do an amazing job keeping buses and shelters clean and tidy, but sometimes you encounter something sticky or you just want to clean your hands after holding onto the rails of the bus. Now you can!
  • Headphones, book, puzzle, entertainment! A major perk of taking the bus is having time to do, well, anything you want on the ride. Watch a film, listen to a podcast, or read a book.
  • Your ORCA card – and maybe a lanyard, although you can tap your ORCA card without taking it out of your wallet; just tap the side of your wallet on the scanner!
  • Tissues: this time of year people are sniffley; you’re a people, too.
  • Something reflective and a little flashlight: it gets dark early these days. Be safe and seen by attaching something to your backpack that reflects headlights for the walk to and from your stop. Also keep in mind that at night, bus drivers are sometimes willing to drop you off in-between stops as long as it’s a safe location to do so.
  • Walking shoes: yes you look great in those dress shoes or heels, but leave them under your desk or in your backpack on transit–It’s simply more comfortable and easy.
  • An extra layer: buses are heated and air-conditioned, and get warm when they’re packed with people, and cold when the windows are open. Be the perfect temp with an extra layer at hand.

Still have questions? Know of something we forgot on our list? Contact us!

Friday, January 11th, 2019 11:13 AM | by Tim Kelley | Add a Comment

(Editors note: This post originally appeared on the Bellevue Downtown Association website.)

The countdown is on.

The Alaskan Way Viaduct is slated to close on January 11 for three weeks, at which point the new two-mile-long SR 99 tunnel connecting Seattle Center to the stadiums will open. Then, on March 23 the buses that currently go through the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel will be brought up to surface streets to allow for better light rail scheduling.

Map of SR 99 closure through downtown Seattle via WSDOT.

These changes, coupled with construction on both sides of the lake and our region’s usual traffic, will likely make for long commutes in the months ahead, and not just in Seattle. According to WSDOT, “drivers should expect up to six weeks of region-wide congestion.”

News agencies, transit agencies, SDOT and WSDOT all recommend making a plan and doing as much as you can to stay off the roads, especially during the three weeks (ish) when both the new tunnel and the viaduct will be closed.

So, what does making a plan mean? Some of us can’t change our work schedule, or the way we work, but for those of us that can, Seattle Councilmember Mike O’Brien suggests that we “think about…what can we do for the common good” such as:

  • Telework – The best way to avoid being part of traffic is to stay home!
  • Shift your work day – Can you travel outside peak travel times? Start later and catch a less crowded bus for your commute.
  • Carpool – Talk to your neighbors and coworkers or go to RideshareOnline to form a carpool; or let an app like Waze, iCarpool or Scoop do it for you! To help with congestion and encourage carpooling King County Metro is partnering with Waze and Scoop dynamic carpooling apps to offer discounts and incentives to those commuting to, from or within King County. Learn more here and check with your employer; some are offering additional incentives
  • Take transit – Your employer may provide you with an ORCA card (if not, click here), and transportation experts like us at Choose Your Way Bellevue will plan your commute for free! There are a few easy bus routes that go between Seattle and the Bellevue Transit Center including:

Coming from Eastgate or West Seattle? Try Ride2, the new on-demand shuttle service from King County Metro!

  • Take vacation – Saving up those time off days? Cash in during these three weeks and say goodbye to traffic and hello to a beach.

No matter what you choose or questions you have, our team is here to help you navigate.

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 12:54 PM | by Tim Kelley | Comments Off on Your commute to Bellevue during the #SeattleSqueeze

You’ve probably heard the news about the SR 99 closure and the significant impacts for commuters. King County Metro needs your help to reduce traffic and fill seats in our vans. On January 11, 2019 the closure begins and will last for at least three weeks–some ramps and roadways may be closed to traffic for up to six weeks. Rideshare Operations has three exciting solutions to assist you during the closure and beyond!

  1. Add a New Rider – Metro Vans Get Rewarded. Existing Metro Vanpool or Vanshare groups that add a new rider can get a $50 gift card.
  2. Join a Metro Van – New Riders are Free During the SR 99 Closure. New riders can join a Metro Vanpool or Vanshare and ride for FREE during the SR 99 closure period
  3. Connect to the King County Water Taxi with Vanshare. New Metro Vanshare groups that connect from their home to the Water Taxi in West Seattle or from the Seattle Water Taxi at Pier 52 to their worksite get three months for FREE ($555 value). Groups can get started will just three participants.

Learn more about these promotions on the King County Rideshare page.

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staff

Thursday, December 13th, 2018 3:06 PM | by geri | Add a Comment

Great news! For a limited time, King County Metro is sponsoring carpooling trips for all King County commuters! This means lower costs when you ride, and an even higher reimbursement when you drive, plus bonuses when you refer a friend.

With this special incentive and flexible, easy-to-use carpooling apps, upgrading your commute is easier than ever. Just follow these four steps:

  1. Download a participating free carpool app (Scoop or Waze Carpool).
  2. Enter your trip locations and times.
  3. Get matched with neighbors or co-workers going your way.
  4. Book a ride and enjoy the benefits.*

Learn more at kingcounty.gov/carpool

*Service areas, pricing, and features vary across apps.

Get ready for the upcoming State Route 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct closure. Avoid the stress of driving alone and get in the carpool lane!

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staff

Thursday, December 13th, 2018 2:46 PM | by geri | Add a Comment

As part of East Link light rail construction, the Rainier Freeway station at I-90 will be closed starting Sept. 22 2018.  It will reopen as Judkins Park Link Station in 2023.  This may have a major impact on Bellevue residents, visitors and employees who use the Rainier Freeway Station.  Read on the find out how this may affect Bellevue readers, and what you need to know to change your travel plans if you are affected:

Most bus routes that currently serve the Rainier Freeway Station, like Route 550, will bypass the area, but Routes 554, 217, and select Route 212 trips will serve new stops on Rainier Avenue South and S Charles St. The transit-only roadway that connects the Rainier Freeway Station to Downtown Seattle will also close, leading to modest increases in travel time.

 

Route 550:

Route 550 will no longer stop at Rainier Avenue South due to the closure of the Rainier Freeway Station. 550 buses will continue to access all normal Downtown Seattle stops (International District, Pioneer Square, University Street,Westlake). This route also will not use the transit-only roadway on I-90 to get downtown. It will proceed on the I-90 mainline into Downtown Seattle.

For Bellevue Route 550 Riders:

  • If you stop at Rainier Avenue: Route 550 will no longer stop at Rainier Avenue South. To access the Rainier Valley, you may take Route 550 to North Mercer Wayand 80th Avenue SE (Mercer Island Park and Ride) and transfer to Route 554. You may also ride the 550 to the International District Station and transfer to a Rainier Valley bound service such as Link or Route 7 or 106.
  • If you ride between Bellevue and Downtown Seattle or other parts of the Eastside your stops will not change, but expect slightly longer travel times.

Route 554:

While route 550 will bypass the area, Route 554 will exit I-90 at Rainier Avenue South and access downtown Seattle via South Dearborn Street, including new stops at Rainier Avenue South and South Charles Street.

Bellevue-Eastgate Route 554 riders:

  • If you get on or off the bus at Rainier Avenue: Route 554 will serve a pair of bus stops at Rainier Avenue South and South Charles Street all day, every day, and will continue to serve the Eastgate Freeway Station. The 212 and 217 will also continue to go from Rainier Avenue to the Eastgate Park & Ride in the mornings, and fromEastgate to Rainier Avenue in the afternoons. Routes 216, 218, and 219 will no longer serve Rainier Avenue.
  • If you travel to Eastgate on this route from Downtown Seattle: Route 554 will pick up riders at existing stops along 2nd Avenue and a new stop at 2nd Ave Extension South and Yesler Way in Downtown Seattle, making similar stops as today.
  • If you travel to Downtown Seattle on this route from Eastgate: Route 554 will drop off riders on the eastside of 4th Avenue in Downtown Seattle.
  • If you travel within the Eastside: your route will not change.

Going eastbound, Route 554’s last stop in downtown Seattle will move to Second Avenue Extension South and Yesler Way from Fifth Avenue South and South Jackson Street. The nine King County Metro routes that serve I-90 will also change.  View those changes by visiting the King County Metro Service Change Page (Scroll down to Route Revisions and filter the list by “Rainier Freeway Station Closure”)

Overall, frequency will decrease slightly and trip times will be adjusted to maintain on-time performance. You can also keep up to date on the latest changes by joining Sound Transit’s Service Planning, Route 550, or Route 554 email lists.

Much of this information has been collected from the Sound Transit I-90 Services Change website.  If you have questions email us at info@cywb.org! Are you affected by the closure and need some help figuring out travel options? Submit a request for a custom Commute Inquiry and we’ll do the planning for you!

-Choose You Way Bellevue Staffer Tim

Monday, September 24th, 2018 1:51 PM | by Tim Kelley | Add a Comment

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