Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Compiled from King County and other sources.

King County Metro has launched Puget Sound’s first-ever mobile payment app! Now, transit riders can use their phones to purchase and redeem tickets without needing cash. This mobile payment system will work on King County Metro buses, King County Water Taxi, Seattle Streetcar and Sound Transit Link light rail and Sounder trains. Be aware that Sound Transit Express buses are not yet participating and that mobile payments will not transfer between agencies. Riders in need of an interagency day pass will still need to purchase one with an ORCA card for $8. However, users will still have a two-hour transfer window on Metro routes. Additionally, the app has the capability to store tickets, so users can buy tickets in bulk and activate multiple tickets simultaneously.

Download the app here.

Fares:

  • Metro will offer all of its standard ticket types
  • King County Water Taxi will offer single fare tickets at the cash price (ORCA users would still get a discount)
  • Sound Transit will offer day passes only on Link ($6.50) and Sounder ($11.50), priced at 2x the maximum fare.
  • Sound Transit has decided not to extend mobile ticketing to ST Express at this time

For a complete list of available tickets on Metro, Sound Transit, Seattle Streetcar and KC Water Taxi check out this article by Seattle Transit Blog.

“We are customer driven, and feedback will help make this new tool even more effective at serving the needs of riders,” said Metro General Manager Rob Gannon.

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staff

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 10:13 AM | by Paige Anderson | Add a Comment

Planning of Commute – Anxiety Level 6/10

I would consider myself an intermediate Seattle bus traveler. I used to ride the bus every day to get to work in South Lake Union, or to neighboring areas like Capitol Hill and Queen Anne, but never one to take me across multiple cities. So in regards to intercity public transportation, I’m a novice at best. So the night before my second day at my new job in Bellevue, I decided to map out my path of travel and outline any red flags such as road closures and “what if” scenarios if buses were late. Using this time resting my eyes, meditating, maybe actually having breakfast – sounded a lot more tempting than driving during rush hour to get back home in Seattle. I used every source I could think of: Google Maps, One Bus Away, Metro Trip Planner – anything that could give me a good sense of timing.

Morning of Commute – Anxiety Level 7/10

I found that I could take the bus right outside my door down to the University Street tunnel station and transfer easily to a bus that came about every 8-15 minutes to downtown Bellevue. As I waited, I noticed I didn’t have reception down in the tunnel station. I glanced across the way and saw a sign that said free Wi-Fi on the platform! PERFECT! I quickly logged in and checked my One Bus Away app and notice that my bus was running behind. If I had checked before I could have made it in time for the bus ahead of it, but after getting a little confused with which way to head off of the bus, I just barely missed it. A gentleman next to me mentioned that usually this bus is right on time, so I’ll count today as an anomaly. Once it arrived a few minutes later, the bus was a bit crowded, but I was able to get on. As we were cruising swiftly by traffic on I-90 I realized that we were quickly making up time for the late departure. I arrived at the Bellevue Transit Center and at work a few minutes late, but not bad for a first timer.

Week 2 of Commuting to Bellevue– Anxiety Level 1/10

Two weeks later – When I wake up, I quickly check my One Bus Away (an app a fellow bus rider suggested to me), to see when my bus is arriving, I keep it on hand as it updates regularly and I can easily walk out my door about 2 minutes beforehand. I now have a routine down and can sometimes catch an extra wink or two in the morning due to how consistent my travel time is now into work. The 550 has been on time (give or take 2-3 minutes) every day, and I’ve always scored an open seat.  I’m glad I didn’t let one hiccup deter me from trying the route again, but it comes by so often that even if you do miss a bus, you know the next one is just right around the corner.

Tips:

  • No “Cutsy’s”! –Unspoken protocol for commuters traveling to and from the Eastside, make sure to wait in whatever line is forming for the bus at your platform. When your bus arrives, some may get on, others won’t, just step forward and make sure not to jump ahead of anyone that is getting on the same bus! On day 1, this formal line was a foreign concept to me as it’s usually a free for all on Seattle downtown buses, but I quickly learned that you either get in line, or wait until the end of it to get on.

Overhead space for extra items

  • Have extra bags or books? The Sound Transit buses have overhead space compartments for just those things. Another plus was overhead extra lighting, so make sure to bring that book or set of notes to review!
  • Stand clear of the back doors or they won’t be able to close.
  • Have your fare ready!
  • Also, make sure to enjoy the view!

    View off the I-90 bridge

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staffer Sandee

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 9:59 AM | by Sandee Ditt | 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

If you’re like me, you love seeing how you’re stacking up in savings. When it comes to my commute, it doesn’t make me happier to know that I saved more than $400 in a month from not driving my car alone. Logging my trips on the Choose Your Way Bellevue network (or RideshareOnline.com for some of you) has been a great tool for me to see how much I’m saving in gas and cash and see my impact on the environment through CO2 savings. Not to mention those trips add up to more than good data. Logging trips on the calendar could qualify someone for a monthly Perk, entrance into a drawing or a reward.

Whether you’re already in the program but haven’t started logging or haven’t signed up yet, here is a quick glimpse of the Choose Your Way Bellevue calendar and how to log a trip. (Click to make it bigger!)

How to log a trip!

It couldn’t be simpler. But if some issues occur, Choose Your Way Bellevue staff are just an email or phone call (425-283-1357) away to help you. What do you look forward to when you log trips?

–Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Geri

Thursday, January 28th, 2016 2:30 AM | by geri | Comments (2)
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Photo by Mike Penney

Magic Season is here once again bringing residents and visitors together for six weeks of special holiday events! Warm yourself up with a hot cocoa while enjoying the ice arena, Garden D’Lights, local dining and shopping! Avoid the delays of traffic and the hassle of trying to find parking by following our transportation tips to help you find alternative ways for your commute while enjoying the holidays.

What’s more, Choose Your Way Bellevue will be at the Bellevue Downtown Association Magic Season Ice Arena presented by Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card from 3 to 9 p.m. Monday Dec. 14. Stop by our table to say hello, spin our prize wheel and learn more about getting around town during this busy season.

In addition we’ll be giving away free ice skating tickets on social media. us on Facebook and Instagram to participate in our Magic Season ticket giveaway. What exactly do you have to do? There will be multiple opportunities and chances for you to be entered into the drawingand here’s how:

  • We will post a weekly trivia question on Facebook or Instagramand if you answer correctly you will be entered to win.
  • Tag @chooseurwaybell on Instagram showing us how you’re commuting to work (if you are a carpool or vanpool driver, make sure you are parked before you snap a photo!)
  • Guess where we are! We’ll post a picture, and tell us where we are in Bellevue to be entered to win.

Three fun and easy ways to be entered to win ice arena tickets while learning about your different travel options during the holiday season. We hope to see you around Downtown Bellevue these next few weeks. Be on the lookout for our social media updates! The first trivia question will be on Monday, December 7!

Magic Season Commuting and Transportation Tips

Ride the Bus: More than 20 King County Metro and Sound Transit bus routes travel through the Bellevue Transit Center. You can park your car at a park-and-ride lot such as South Bellevue, Eastgate or South Kirkland and hop on a bus the rest of the way. Visit tripplanner.kingcounty.gov to plan your trip.

Try the B Line: King County Metro’s RapidRide B Line goes from the Redmond Transit Center through Overlake, Crossroads and several stops along NE 8th Street to the Bellevue Transit Center.

Bring Friends: Carpooling can save you time when you take high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on I-90 and east of Lake Washington on SR 520. The I-405 Express Toll Lanes can make a short trip to Downtown Bellevue. With a group of two or more in those off-peak times you can avoid the toll with a GoodToGo FlexPass. You need three or more to drive in the express toll lanes for free during peak hours. Three or more in your carpool is required for using the HOV lanes on SR 520. The HOV direct access ramp at NE 6th Street will get you into Downtown faster. Find out more at goodtogo405.com.

Photo by Mike Penney

Photo by Mike Penney

Park near the Park: Parking is available at the Bellevue Downtown Park if you are heading to the Bellevue Downtown Association’s Magic Season Ice Arena presented by Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card. Doing a little shopping in Old Bellevue? Two-hour, limited on-street parking is available around Old Bellevue and on Main Street.

Download These Mobile Apps to Help You Get Around:

One Bus Away: Take the bus and save money— for more holiday shopping! Download the app for iPhone, Android and Windows phones to access up to date bus arrivals times so you aren’t running or waiting for the next Metro or Sound Transit bus.

Waze: Is the community-based app where you can share with fellow driver’s real-time traffic alerts and road information in your area, helping to save you time and money.

Inrix Traffic or WSDOT: Both of these apps will keep you up to date with instant traffic and travel alerts in and around the Eastside. Be sure to download either of these apps and save yourself some time by avoiding backups! InrixTraffic.com and WSDOT.gov.

Other apps to try: These multimodal real-time trip planning app such as Google Maps, The Transit App, Ridescout, or King County Metro’s Trip Planner app can also tell you the time, duration and cost of your trip using various modes such as transit, walking, cycling, and driving.

And as always – if you need any assistance planning your trip, feel free to contact Choose Your Way Bellevue or fill out a commute inquiry.

Friday, December 4th, 2015 10:41 PM | by admin | Add a Comment

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