Archive for the ‘Rideshare’ Category

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

They say it’s taboo to break-up on Valentine’s Day, but this year, we encourage you to do so. Break up with your old commute! Stop sitting in traffic all alone, or simply try something new! Maybe your relationship with the bus has gone stale and that shiny vanpool’s caught your eye; or maybe you’re in need of a partner who’s more outdoorsy and has two wheels… Choose Your Way Bellevue is here to be your matchmaker.

So, how do you find a ridematch anyway? It’s as easy as 1-2-3 with Choose Your Way Bellevue.

Watch the video: http://bit.ly/2jIiyY8

Intimidated by biking Downtown? Use our Downtown Bellevue Bike Map to find a route that’s your speed.

What’s the bus got to do with orcas? Choose Your Way Bellevue will catch you up with all the tips and tricks.

As always, we’re here to help with your questions. Now get out there and meet your (commute) match!

Friday, February 3rd, 2017 3:38 PM | by Paige Anderson | Add a Comment

The 4th of July is right around the corner! Join the celebration in Downtown Bellevue!

Photo by Collin Walker

Photo by Collin Walker

Four on the 4th Dog Jog & Walk –  9 a.m. July 4, 2016

The Àegis of Bellevue Four on the 4th Dog Jog & Walk, a non-competitive 4K, begins at 9 a.m. on the morning of 4th of July at Ashwood Park. The jog & walk will also end at Ashwood Park where refreshments, activities and a costume contest will take place. Friendly, leashed dogs are welcome! Hundreds of dogs will be in attendance, so it is not recommend anyone bring other types of pets or dogs in heat.

For more info click here.

Bellevue Family 4th 2 p.m. July 4, 2016

The Bellevue Collection Bellevue Family 4th presented by PACCAR hosts the largest Independence day celebration on the eastside, and this year is the 25th anniversary! The event takes place in Bellevue Downtown Park where families and friends can enjoy food, games, live music, and a spectacular fireworks show.

The Bellevue Downtown Park is located one block south of Bellevue Square on the corner of NE 4th Street and Bellevue Way in downtown Bellevue.

For more info click here.

Here are a few additional ways to get to the festivities:

Transit

Consider taking the bus to the Bellevue Transit Center located at NE 6th Street & 108th Avenue NE. The Bellevue Transit Center is less than 5 blocks from the Bellevue Downtown Park and offers evening transit service to and from Seattle and many surrounding areas. Visit King County Metro’s Online TripPlanner to help plan your bus route or Choose Your Way Bellevue for other travel options. Bus routes will operate a Saturday schedule on July 4th so be sure to check the schedule at http://metro.kingcounty.gov/schedules/ for your route.

The information below is specific to Saturday/Sunday operations. All suggested routes serve the Bellevue Transit Center for incoming and outgoing trips. For specific bus schedules and more detailed information, please visit http://metro.kingcounty.gov and enter your preferred route number in the “Get a Timetable” box in the upper right corner. For Sound Transit routes (535, 550 and 560) visit soundtransit.org.

Park and Ride Most Direct Route Departure Information Return pick-up at the Bellevue Transit Center Fare Additional route options
South Bellevue 
2700 Bellevue Way SE
Sound Transit 550 Bay 1, departs every 15 minutes on Saturdays and every 30 minutes on Sundays Bay 9 $2.50 Metro 241*
Metro 249
ST 555*
ST 556*
ST 560
Eastgate 
14200 SE Eastgate Way
Metro 271 Bay 1, departs every 30 minutes on Saturdays and Sundays Bay 5 $2.50 Metro 240
Metro 241*
Metro 246*
ST 555*
ST 556*
Mercer Island
8000 N. Mercer Way
Sound Transit 550 Departs every 15 minutes on Saturdays and every 30 minutes on Sundays Bay 1 $2.50 n/a
South Kirkland
10610 NE 38th Place
Metro 234 or 235 Bay A, departs every  15 minutes on weekdays, and every hour Saturdays and Sundays Bay 10 $2.50 Metro 249
Overlake Park and Ride
2650 152nd Avenue NEOverlake Transit Center
15590 NE 36th Place
Metro B-Line Bay 7, every 15 minutes during peak travel times Bay 3 $2.50 Metro 249
Kingsgate
13001 116th Way NE
Metro235 I-405 Totem Lake South Bound Freeway Station, departs every hour on weekends Bay 4 $2.50 n/a
Sound Transit 535** I-405 Totem Lake South Bound Freeway Station, departs every hour on Saturday

*Weekday service only
**No Sunday service

Tips for riding transit to downtown Bellevue:

  • Carry your exact fare in cash: Bus drivers do not have change. You may pay your fare, and the fare for others traveling with you, using any combination of paper and coin currency. ORCA transit passes are also accepted provided they have a value equal to or greater than the required fare (if not, a cash supplement may be required).
  • Free fares for children: Up to 4 children ages 5 and under always ride free with a paying adult on Sound Transit and King County Metro buses.
  • All buses are wheelchair accessible.
  • Return trip to park and ride: Plan ahead by locating the bay where you will wait to catch a bus back to the park and ride, as well as determining when the last bus leaves to get you there. Schedules are posted at each bay to assist you.

Bike or Walk

Summer is here and this is the best time of year to bike! Throw your blanket in your backpack and don’t forget your bike lights! You can plan your route with the City of Bellevue bike map or the interactive King County bike map. Bike racks are available throughout the city (though bike parking is generally limited), and so are great pedestrian paths. If you’d like a hard copy of a bike or pedestrian map follow this link to request one (will be mailed after the 4th) or stop by our office!

Rideshare with family or friends. Make a plan to meet at a nearby park-n-ride.

If you’ve got a few extra seats in your car, try Choose Your Way Bellevue to find a ridematch. You can view the Family 4th Event and “Add Trip to Event” here to find a ridematch.

Nearby Park-n-Rides:

North

Houghton Park-n-Ride

Kingsgate Park-n-Ride

South Kirkland Park-n-Ride

South

South Bellevue Park-n-Ride

Wilburton Park-n-Ride

East

Eastgate Park-n-Ride

West

Mercer Island Park-n-Ride

Parking

If you are driving or carpooling with your family, once you get downtown there are a few parking options. Complimentary event parking is offered after 6 p.m. at the Bellevue Collection (Bellevue Square (access off NE 8th and Bellevue Way), Lincoln Square and Bellevue Place).

Using Lincoln Square (access off Bellevue Way) or Bellevue Place (access off NE 8th or Bellevue Way) allows for a much quicker post-event exit. Free parking also is available in the visitors’ lot at Bellevue City Hall (450 110th Avenue NE) – and a much quicker way to exit downtown post-event if you are willing to walk a couple blocks.

After the event, drivers are encouraged to use NE 2nd Street, NE 10th Street or NE 12th Street to cross I-405 and quickly exit downtown.

Driving Directions

Eastbound I-90 from Seattle:
Just past the I-405 interchange, take the Bellevue Way exit. Merge onto Bellevue Way heading north approximately 3 miles. The Bellevue Downtown Park is located on the left side of Bellevue Way, one block south of Bellevue Square on the corner of NE 4th Street and Bellevue Way.

Westbound I-90 from Issaquah:
Take the Bellevue Way exit and head north approximately 3 miles. The Bellevue Downtown Park is located on the left side of Bellevue Way, one block south of Bellevue Square on the corner of NE 4th Street and Bellevue Way.

Northbound I-405 from Renton:
Just past the I-90 interchange, take the NE 4th Street exit. Head west on NE 4th Street. Turn left on Bellevue Way. The park is located at the corner of NE 4th Street and Bellevue Way.

Southbound I-405 from Kirkland:
Just past the 520 interchange, take the NE 4th Street exit. Head west on NE 4th Street. Turn left on Bellevue Way. The park is located at the corner of NE 4th Street and Bellevue Way.

Eastbound 520 from Seattle:
Before reaching the I-405 interchange, take the Bellevue Way exit. Merge right onto Bellevue Way heading south. The Bellevue Downtown Park is located at the corner of NE 4th Street and Bellevue Way, just south of Bellevue Square.

Westbound 520 from Redmond:
Just past the I-405 interchange, take the Bellevue Way exit. Turn left onto Bellevue Way heading south. The Bellevue Downtown Park is located at the corner of NE 4th Street and Bellevue Way, just south of Bellevue Square.

Please Note the below traffic changes:

  • Before the fireworks, at approximately 9:30 – 9:45 p.m., some streets near Downtown Park will be closed to vehicle traffic: NE 4th Street, from 100th Ave to Bellevue Way NE; and 100th Ave NE, between NE 1st to NE 5th streets. After the fireworks, the following road restrictions will be put in place to help clear traffic leaving downtown.
  • Right turns will be prohibited from 100th Ave NE to NE 8th  Street, drivers may turn right on NE 10th Street
  • Right turns will be prohibited from eastbound NE 10th Street to all side streets between 100th Ave NE and Interstate 405. Access to I-405 from NE 10th Street will be via NE 116th Street.
  • Left turns will be prohibited from southbound Bellevue Way NE to eastbound NE 4th Street. Drivers headed to I-90 or I-405 may continue south on Bellevue Way.
  • Various other lane closures and turn restrictions, as needed, to move traffic quickly out of the downtown core. When traffic volumes decreases, road will reopen and turn restrictions will be lifted.

Stay safe out there and enjoy the fireworks and other festivities!

Friday, July 1st, 2016 9:16 PM | by Paige Anderson | Add a Comment

If you’ve been in a vanpool, you know it takes some coordination to situate arrival of the van, who’s driving, who has paid, what time the van will leave and so forth. Constant communication is key. Two vanpoolers saw an opportunity to communicate better with fellow vanpoolers and make it easier for vanpoolers to organize all of their trip information into an app. Read their story and how the app is helping vanpools today.

phone

Image from Vanpooler.com

From King County Metro rideshare services: This month’s ‪#‎FeaturedCommuterGroup is a little different. There are no tales of daring rescues or dramatic first aid stories. But if you have a commuter van with full ridership that you try to coordinate on a regular basis, this story could be the best one yet! While we are understandably proud of the service we provide, we do know it can be challenging to coordinate riders and keep everyone on the same page. Well, as the commercial says, now “there’s an app for that!”

Jignesh is part of a large, long-running vanpool group with more than 20 members assigned to a 15 passenger van. When the group was smaller, they used WhatsApp for messaging functionality but as the group grew in size, it became harder to keep track of who was riding, who was driving, who was out for the day, and who was simply running late. He recalls a time when a driver miscounted the number of riders for the day. Because they thought they had everyone on board and left, “The poor fellow had to drive by himself in a non-carpool lane and was late for his morning meeting.”

Enter Eric and Chen. With four years of vanpooling between them (and similar experiences with WhatsApp), they were facing the same challenges with keeping track of ridership. However, they decided to tackle the problem. “Our group used to use WhatsApp to coordinate our daily vanpool ridership. But it is ad-hoc and there is no easy way to see who is coming and who is not unless one reads all the messages. So we thought, why not create an app to solve these problems?” After working on it for three months, the Vanpooler app was born.

So, what can the app do? Essentially, rather than relying on one person to keep track of every rider in the van, it allows every group member to indicate their daily ridership through a 1-click process with quick, preset messages such as ‘On my way’ or ‘5 minutes late’. Seat reservations are done automatically to prevent overbooking and there is no need to type while driving. Additionally, group members may be called and departure time reminders can be set through the app.

The Vanpooler app is available for Apple and Android. Though it has been out for less than a month, there are already about 10 vanpool groups using it on a daily basis. Feedback has been very positive with Eric and Chen responding as quickly as they are able to enhancement requests. For example, they just added the ability to reserve a seat the night prior to the trip and push notification for chat messages is also now available. They also plan to add enhancements to support bookkeepers and to allow commuters to search for and join vanpool groups in the near future. “We created Vanpooler to solve our own daily commuting issue but seeing it also benefiting other vanpool users made us feel really proud,” said Eric and Chen.

With the many commuter choices available, we are always thankful for our customers and here in Rideshare Operations, we are very excited to be able to share a tool that may help make a vanpool commute even better. Our customers help make us the biggest and best commuter van program around and the Vanpooler app is just one more fantastic reason why!

Thursday, May 19th, 2016 9:44 PM | by geri | Add a Comment
Walking is an easy way to get some exercise in!

Walking is an easy way to get some exercise in!

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to lead a healthier lifestyle. Whether that means eating a balanced diet, increasing physical activity, or getting rid of stress, using non-drive alone modes can help you reach these goals.

Yes, taking the bus, joining a carpool, or signing up for a vanpool, and of course, walking or biking to work, can help you stay healthy and stick to those resolutions.

If your goal is to eat healthier…

  • Plan your grocery list during a bus, carpool, or vanpool ride to or from work- If you are not in the driver’s seat agonizing over traffic, you are better equipped to think about healthy meals you want for the week, browse recipes on your phone, and write out a grocery list.

If your goal is to increase physical activity…

  • Celebrate the exercise you might already get to and from the bus stop. If you are lucky enough to be able to walk to your bus stop, don’t underestimate the time it takes to walk to and from your stop, and celebrate the fact that you may already be on your way to getting those steps. The CDC recommends that the average adult get around 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, and this can include brisk walking (2015). Ten minutes to and from a bus stop, five times each week already adds up to 100 minutes, more than half of the recommended amount.
  • Get off the bus one or two stops earlier. Remember, just because your bus may drop you off close to your destination, it doesn’t mean you have to take the bus all the way there. You can control how far you want to walk on any given day. Give it a try once a week, and next week, try it twice.
  • Walk or bike to the park and ride. If you live within a reasonable distance of a park and ride, consider walking or biking to it instead of driving. Many park and rides even have bike racks and bike lockers, but check first with the transit agency that runs that specific park and ride – or check with us and we can help you find that information.

If your goal is to get rid of stress…

  • Focus your travel time on activities that improve your mood and well-being. Sitting in traffic can be stressful, so riding in the HOV lane can make a big difference. If you are an extravert, you might appreciate the time with carpool or vanpool partners as a new social outlet. On the other hand, if you enjoy time to yourself, consider listening to music, reading a book, or taking a nap.

 

Check out the Mover of the Month’s story here on how her commute has helped her exercise and enjoy the fresh air.

Do you have ideas on how non-drive alone modes can help continue the momentum of our New Year’s resolutions? Leave them in the comments below.

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Danielle

Friday, February 5th, 2016 6:20 PM | by admin | Add a Comment

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