Archive for the ‘Rideshare’ Category

(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

Did you know that you can have a chance to earn awesome rewards just by logging your commute? Just by signing up and logging eight non-drive alone commute trips a month you will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $100 REI gift card!

Take a page out of Brett’s book! Brett is our November Mover of the Month and commutes regularly from Northeast Bellevue to Downtown Bellevue by bus. By choosing to commute by bus, Brett has had the opportunity to meet other members of the community!

Here’s what Brett has to say:

I choose to commute by bus out of convenience. I work at Morgan Stanley adjacent to the Bellevue Transit Center. Riding the bus makes me feel like I have a shared chauffeur every morning and afternoon!

Taking the bus has also given me the opportunity to meet a diverse group of people each day. I feel like I’m missing out if I’m not on the bus.

I have lived in the area for 5 years, row for the Lake Sammamish 5am rowing team and love to ski, sail, run and walk the neighborhood with my dog Hudson. Being the Mover of the Month made my day. The REI Gift Card will come in handy with ski season right around the corner!

Learn more about Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards, including the Monthly Perks Program and 25 win $25 Drawing!

 

 

Monday, November 12th, 2018 11:59 AM | by geri | Add a Comment

Ride Transit Pledge

June is Ride Transit Month in Washington State—a time to celebrate transit riders, showcase the benefits of riding transit, and encourage people who don’t normally ride to give it a try. Transit agencies, Transportation Management Associations, transportation advocates, and employers across the state partner together to celebrate transit riders with events, prizes, and encouragement.

Ride Transit Day is the flagship event on June 7th and transit partners across the region host celebration stations near transit stops to show rider appreciation. Look for a Celebration Station at the Bellevue Transit Center on the afternoon of June 7th.

Stations will provide resources for new riders and a pledge card that enters riders in prize giveaways. Riders can also enter to win prizes all month long if they log their trips on RideshareOnline, take the pledge, complete weekly actions, and/ or use the #RideTransit hashtag to share their transit stories.

Whether you’re a regular rider or new to transit, thank you for helping Washington State lead the nation. Now it’s time to celebrate YOU, our community of transit riders! Just choose your favorite mode—bus, light rail, train, ferry, vanpool, or water taxi—and enjoy the ride.

 

Sign up!  www.RideTransitMonth.org

 

Need some convincing? The benefits of transit are already well known, but here’s a refresher:

Reducing Congestion
One full bus carries the same number of people as 60+ cars. Transit’s impact on reducing congestion has also resulted in significant savings for drivers and their communities. Public transit saves Americans 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually!

Savings in Your Pocket
Individuals who switch from driving to taking public transit can save, on average almost $9,986 a year, and up to $828 a month.

Happier & Healthier
Public transportation tends to increase physical activity, since most public transit trips involve walking links and transit systems often provide amenities such as bike racks on buses and lockers at stations.

Although Americans only walk an average of about 6 daily minutes overall, public transit users spend a median of 19 daily minutes walking, which nearly achieves the target of 22 daily minutes of moderate physical activity.

A Cleaner Planet!
Transit is reducing energy consumption and harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) greenhouse gas emissions that damage the environment.

See you on the bus!

 -Choose Your Way Bellevue Staff

Friday, June 1st, 2018 6:00 AM | by Tim Kelley | Add a Comment

Did you know that you can have a chance to earn awesome rewards just by logging your commute? If you sign up with Choose Your Way Bellevue, you will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $100 REI gift card just by participating and logging your non-drive-alone commute at least 8 times a month.

Take a page out of Matt’s book; Matt, our May Mover of the Month, commutes regularly from Issaquah to Bellevue by bus. By choosing to commute by bus, Matt has saved thousands per year!

Here is Matt’s story:

Mat

We hope Matt took the bus to get the Angkor Wat!

 

What is your green commute (what is your mode and where are you coming from/going to)?

“My wife and I recently moved from Bellevue to Issaquah. Without knowing it, we chose an apartment within a block of a bus stop that’s turned out to be extremely convenient. I walk out my door in the morning and walk 1 block to the bus stop. I catch the Sound Transit 554 to Eastgate Park & Ride where I transfer to either the 240 or 271 to Downtown Bellevue. My route home in the evenings is the exact reverse.“

Why do you choose to commute this way?

“My commuting by bus has allowed us to downsize to a one car household. My company pays for my monthly bus pass so we save thousands per year on insurance, gas, parking, registration, and maintenance on a second car. I also don’t have the headache of having to fight traffic before I’ve had coffee in the morning!”

What is something unexpected you’ve discovered since you began commuting via this mode?

“One interesting thing that I’ve learned to do since beginning to bus commute is read on the bus. I used to get queasy if I tried to read in a car or on the bus. But, over time, I’ve gotten over it and read for pretty much my entire commute.”

Tell us a bit about yourself – what are some of your hobbies? Do you have any holiday plans?

“I’m a volunteer trail steward for 6 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail east of the Greenwater area. So a lot of my holiday this summer will be days spent doing trail maintenance in the woods. My wife and I are also planning a trip to the Coeur d’Alene area later this summer. I enjoy hiking in the Issaquah Alps, camping, reading, and trying out new hobbies. “

A huge thank you to Matt for sharing his commute with us! We hope his experience can serve as inspiration for you to try out your own alternative mode of transit – why not start with the bus! June is Ride Transit Month, and Choose Your Way Bellevue provides an ORCA card to certain new transit users through our Try Transit program.

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 staffer Emma

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018 9:25 AM | by Tim Kelley | Add a Comment

Augusta is the Bellevue Downtown Association Membership Director and occasionally commutes with Patrick, who is the Bellevue Downtown Association President.  Here is her experience using Scoop, a new carpool app that launch on the Eastside this year:

We’d been carpooling occasionally for a few months – maybe once a week. It was easy to coordinate since Patrick works in the same office as I do. We’d coordinate the night before an early meeting or if I had bused in the morning and was working late, occasionally he’d drive me home. My house is on the way home for him – and he claims he doesn’t mind the company.

When we heard Scoop was launching we thought we’d give it a go to see how the system worked, whether we’d get matched and how much the trip would cost for me and how much I’d be paying him.

We both downloaded the app, and set up our profiles. It was pretty easy to set up – it just asked for my name, phone number, email address and employer in case my employer had a subsidy program. Even though I’d been a rider, I signed up to be a driver too and that took about 60 seconds. I put in my car’s make and model, year, color, license plate and driver’s license number and I was approved within five minutes. Easy-peasy. I even added a picture of myself so my profile felt complete.

So the next evening by 9:00 p.m. we scheduled our carpool for the next morning. Here are the steps I took to schedule:

  • I selected if I would ride or drive
  • I selected the 15-minute window I’d prefer to be picked up (between 8:00-8:15)
  • Patrick did the same
  • Then by 9:15 p.m. I received a notification that I’d be carpooling with Patrick and to be outside my house by 8:15. I could click on the ride and it showed a route that Patrick might take, and what time he’d be estimated to be at my house. I could message him through the app, and call if needed.

We had both previously opted to “favorite” each other’s profile so we wanted to see if that would mean we’d automatically match. It’s early on in Scoop’s Bellevue launch – but sure enough, our times and carpool matched up. My trip cost me $4 and he made $3. The best part was he was finally getting paid for these trips!

Either of us could also have opted to use Scoop to carpool home with a different carpool partner, but Patrick had a later meeting and I was meeting up with a friend so we made it home with different modes. The flexibility was nice! I think if I continue I’ll prefer using Scoop for the morning commute. Have you tried it yet? What did you think?

-Augusta, Downtown Bellevue Commuter and Honorary Choose Your Way Bellevue Staff

Learn more about Scoop and other ridematching apps on the CYWB Apps & Technology page.

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 3:13 PM | by augusta | Add a Comment

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