Archive for the ‘Tolling’ Category

Bellevue Magic Season is here! Downtown Bellevue is home to a winter wonderland of delights this holiday season, and Choose Your Way Bellevue has all the resources to help you arrive stress free. Events are peppered around Downtown and easily accessible by bus. If you do prefer to drive, remember that carpooling means more time with friends and family, holiday songs in the car and more eyes peeled for a parking spot!

The simplest transit option is to take a bus to the Bellevue Transit Center. From here you can easily walk to Ashwood Park, where the Magic Season Ice Arena is hosted this year, or Bellevue Library which is also hosting holiday events. Take the pedestrian corridor on NE 6th Street two blocks west to Bellevue Way for Snowflake Lane. Walk half a block to the Meydenbauer Center Theatre to see a beautiful production of the Nutcracker; or walk to one of the retail centers in Downtown to do some last minute gift shopping!

magic season map

Here are some routes you can take to the Bellevue Transit Center:

Find your specific route through trip planners from King County Metro, Sound Transit or Google Maps (select “Directions” and click on the transit icon) and entering “Bellevue Transit Center” as the destination. Or check out a mobile app in the next section.

Download These Mobile Apps to Help You Get Around:

Puget Sound Trip Planner: This King County Metro app allows you to find a route between your origin and destination in real time, or for a future trip. See stop details, fare information, route schedules and options.

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 arrival times so you aren’t running or waiting for the next bus. You can click on every bus stop from a map to see all arrival times.

Google Maps: Google Maps now includes real-time bus data. You can plan out your trip for transit and it will give you arrival times and even fare information. Google Maps also allows you to add your trip to your calendar so you can be t

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016 6:10 PM | by Paige Anderson | Comments Off on ‘Tis the Season for Transit

CIM Logo trimmed
King County Metro recently launched the I-405 Communities In Motion (CIM) program that rewards $25 to those willing to make some changes to their commute. If you live or work in Bellevue you are invited to participate via On The Move Bellevue. We’re here to help you find alternative modes of travel, whether it be by bicycling, walking, taking public transportation, or finding a rideshare alternative. On The Move Bellevue has plenty to offer local commuters – and this fall there are even more incentives and rewards available due to the I-405 Communities In Motion campaign. There has been a lot of progress since the program launched in 2013. Read on for more about how joining On The Move Bellevue and taking the I-405 Pledge can support you in your non-drive-alone goals!

The first Metro Community in Motion program was developed in 2013 and has been widespread for residents across 13 cities in the King County region. Here’s CIM by the numbers:

  • 6,500 participants have pledged to reduce to two drive-alone trips per week.
  • Through been logging their trips.
  • 3 million miles have been eliminated by non-drive-alone trips.
  • An estimated 341,242 gallons of gas have been saved.
  • 5 pounds of carbon dioxide has been prevented from entering the atmosphere.
  • $2,548,661 in travel costs has been saved.

So how do you pledge, you ask? Here’s how it works:

CIM-RSO-icon pledgeStep 1: Pledge and earn $25! Join the movement and register online through On The Move Bellevue to record your weekly progress. You can access the pledge once you’re registered under your “Rewards” tab under “Incentive Programs”. (Look for the little icon on the right.) It’s a pledge to change some of your drive-alone trips, log your reduced trips for three months and then take a follow up survey.

Can’t reduce your trips because you don’t own a car? Or do you just want to spread your love to your friends and colleagues? Become a Car-Free Champion or Program Ambassador to earn your $25. Take the pledge as normal and then email your story or your recruit to getinmotion@kingcounty.gov.

Step 2: Join the I-405 Diamond Club: Within your On The Move Bellevue account, you can join The Club once you’ve completed the pledge. And trust us; The Club has its benefits. Just for completing the pledge you will receive your first Emergency Ride Home code for a taxi ride home in case of an eligible emergency.

Step 3: Log those trips! Calling all Diamond Club Members: Every month that you log eight reduced days on your calendar through June 15, 2015, you will be eligible to request another Emergency Ride Home code to have in your back pocket for those emergencies. Another bonus for logging? Each month 25 win $25 (REI or a TranBen transit or vanpool voucher) just for logging those eight days! You can back-log up to 28 days.

What’s MORE? On The Move Bellevue trip loggers have another chance to win 25 win $25 just for those who live or work in Bellevue.

The Pledge and the survey period will close to Bellevue commuters 1/31/16. Better boogie – all rewards are only available while supplies last. More information is available at kingcounty.gov/getinmotion or get started now! Email any questions about the I-405 Communities In Motion Program or On The Move Bellevue to info@onthemovebellevue.org.

 

 

Saturday, November 14th, 2015 12:36 AM | by admin | Add a Comment

Amidst a strong economy and with fuel prices near a six-year low, Federal data shows vehicle miles traveled have increased slightly since 2013. Looking closer however, the same data shows vehicle miles traveled in the US, adjusted for population growth, are still down 6.29 percent from an all-time high in June 2005. Driving fewer miles, even with lower gas prices, doesn’t change the fact that driving is still very expensive. Beyond the price of gasoline, many drivers do not realize the true cost of driving.  Unlike housing, vehicle costs are spread into many different categories throughout the year.

The average U.S. household spends 32 percent of their income on housing— not a surprise. But that same household spends 19 percent on transportation expenses. Transportation as a share of household income climbs to 25 percent in auto-dependent suburbs. And while gas prices seem like a big part of our driving expenses, they only account for 13 percent of vehicle ownership and operating costs for the average driver.

To gain a better picture on how much it REALLY costs to commute to work, I’ve aggregated the expenses into one number – as if we were to feel the aggregate cost of all of our driving expenses each time we went to the pump to fill up.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, ownership and operating costs break down into eight categories, with depreciation, financing and insurance accounting for more than 3/4 of total ownership cost.

Chart 1

ownership cost
Chart 1 illustrates that fuel and fuel taxes account for 13 percent of the total cost of driving. Now think about how much it costs to fill your gas tank. At $2.50 per gallon, the cost to fill a 20-gallon tank is $50. If that $50 dollars only represents 13 percent of the cost of driving, then each time we spend $50 dollars on gas we are also spending $334.61 on other auto-related expenses—which means the total cost of using that $50 tank of gas is really $384.61.

In other words, if your vehicle gets 30 miles per gallon and a gallon of gas is $2.50 per gallon, each mile you drive costs you 64¢ of which only 8.3¢ goes to fuel and fuel taxes. At 30 miles per gallon a 20-gallon tank will take you 600 miles at a total cost of $384.61.

What does this mean for an average commuter? Driving from North Bothell to downtown Bellevue a commuter drives about 15 miles each way. The real cost to drive 30 miles, accounting for all vehicle expenses, is $19.20 per day!

For $19.20 per day, a commuter would pay about $422.40 per month to commute to and from work. Add parking cost (2015 average downtown Bellevue monthly parking rate of $181.22) to that total and we could easily spend over $600 per month driving to and from work—not to mention one to two hours per day stuck in congestion. For $126 per month, the same commuter could purchase a monthly transit pass and—if they don’t own a car—still have close to $500 left over for housing expenses, vacation money or an early retirement.

We understand the above figure is based on the total cost of car ownership and that some of the costs don’t scale as acutely with a reduction in miles driven, particularly finance cost. Regardless, the above figure is presented to spark a conversation about the real cost of driving. And as I learned when I starting using public transit and biking for my commute trips, and using transit, biking and walking for many of my non-commute trips, most of the costs do decline as the mileage decreases. For example, I receive a reduced rate on car insurance because I drive fewer than 5,000 miles per year, my vehicle is depreciating at a far slower rate, and by putting fewer miles on my vehicle, I pay less for repairs, maintenance and fuel. Furthermore, my family and I are now considering giving up one vehicle, and even if we don’t, we certainly won’t need to add a 3rd vehicle when our son starts driving in the next couple years.

You can calculate your own commute cost by clicking here or find the link at Choose Your Way Bellevue. Learn more about the real cost of driving here.

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staffer Jason

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015 5:34 PM | by Jason Hampton | Comments (2)

This Sunday, tolls on State Route 520 will increase 2.5 percent. That increase means the current peak Good to Go! pass rate will increase from $3.50 to $3.59. If you don’t have a Good to Go! pass you’ll now pay at most $5.13 to cross SR 520. Peak times are 7-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m.

Why the increase?
“Debt payments are the single most important consideration when setting the new rates,” According to Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) Toll Division Director, Craig Stone.

Every year, the state’s Transportation Commission reviews traffic and revenue data to determine if an increase in toll rates are needed to cover the debt costs. This is the first of four annual 2.5-percent rate increases for SR 520 planned through 2015. In 2016, there is a planned 15% increase that is based on forecasted traffic levels.

Source: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Tolling/TollRates.htm

Source: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Tolling/TollRates.htm

If this news has you worrying about the cost of driving to work, it might be time for you to reconsider your commute. If you drive back and forth across the bridge every day of the week, you’re already spending between $1,820 and $2,600 a year on tolls alone (assuming you drive during the peak travel time, five times a week).
This 2.5 percent increase will add up to $45-$65 to your annual costs. If toll prices continue to rise as predicted, by 2016 you’ll be paying $2,310-$3,300 a year to cross SR 520.
All you need to do to save money is rethink your commute. Here are just a few ideas on how to cut your commute costs; you can find more at www.ChooseYourWayBellevue.org. All the figures below assume you’re using a Good to Go! pass. Purchasing a Good to Go! pass saves you $1.50 each way.
Jump on the bus: You don’t pay a toll when you take the bus across SR 520. Sound Transit’s Route 550 runs every 10 minutes during peak travel times and has stops in downtown Bellevue and in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel. Even if your employer doesn’t provide you with a free or discounted ORCA card, you’ll be spending $2.50 a trip instead of up to $3.59. Over a year, that will save you up to $566 during peak travel times.
Find a carpool buddy: Use the Bellevue Commute Club to find someone to carpool with. Not only will you save time using the HOV lanes, you’ll also cut your toll bill in half!
Change your schedule: Not everyone is able to compress their work week – work four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days, for example – but if your employer allows you to change your schedule you could save up to $193 a year.
Work from home: Just like a compressed work week, not everyone is able to telecommute, or work from home, but it may be possible if most of your work can be done remotely. Imagine not having to drive to and from work. No commute = no tolls!
You may have an unpredictable work schedule, errands to run after work, and many other reasons why these options wouldn’t work for you every day of the week, but you can save money by doing them as much as once a week. Every little bit counts.
Not sure how to plan an alternative commute? Contact us and we’ll plan it for you!
How else have you saved money on the tolls?

If this news has you worrying about the cost of driving to work, it might be time for you to reconsider your commute. If you drive back and forth across the bridge every day of the week, you’re already spending between $1,820 and $2,600 a year on tolls alone (assuming you drive during the peak travel time, five times a week).

This 2.5 percent increase will add up to $45-$65 to your annual costs. If toll prices continue to rise as predicted, by 2016 you’ll be paying $2,310-$3,300 a year to cross SR 520.

All you need to do to save money is rethink your commute. Here are just a few ideas on how to cut your commute costs; you can find more at www.ChooseYourWayBellevue.org. All the figures below assume you’re using a Good to Go! pass. Purchasing a Good to Go! pass saves you $1.50 each way.

  • Jump on the bus: You don’t pay a toll when you take the bus across SR 520. Sound Transit’s Route 550 runs every 10 minutes during peak travel times and has stops in downtown Bellevue and in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel. Even if your employer doesn’t provide you with a free or discounted ORCA card, you’ll be spending $2.50 a trip instead of up to $3.59. Over a year, that will save you up to $566 during peak travel times.
  • Find a carpool buddy: Use the Bellevue Commute Club to find someone to carpool with. Not only will you save time using the HOV lanes, you’ll also cut your toll bill in half!
  • Change your schedule: Not everyone is able to compress their work week – work four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days, for example – but if your employer allows you to change your schedule you could save up to $193 a year.
  • Work from home: Just like a compressed work week, not everyone is able to telecommute, or work from home, but it may be possible if most of your work can be done remotely. Imagine not having to drive to and from work. No commute = no tolls!

You may have an unpredictable work schedule, errands to run after work, and many other reasons why these options wouldn’t work for you every day of the week, but you can save money by doing them as much as once a week. Every little bit counts.

Not sure how to plan an alternative commute? Contact us and we’ll plan it for you!

How else have you saved money on the tolls?

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012 9:42 AM | by admin | Add a Comment

Does 520 tolling have you worried about your commute? If you don’t already take transit, carpool or vanpool across the lake, now is the best time to look into other travel options. There will be 130 additional daily bus trips added to the 520 corridor and carpooling or vanpooling will be great alternatives for some commuters. Learn about Washington’s Good to Go! all-electronic tolling system and how you can be ready by spring 2011 by watching the video below:

Friday, December 10th, 2010 11:53 AM | by admin | Add a Comment

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