Archive for the ‘Vanpool’ Category

It’s easy to see the correlation between not exercising and looking silly on your hiking date or not flossing and emitting potent halitosis, but less obvious is the correlation between your daily commute and your health and wellbeing.

Before you go checking WebMD and discover that you need to amputate a limb, it’s important to remember that there are many variables to consider when evaluating your commute. Depending on how and how far you travel each day, your risks may be different. For example, traveling more than ten miles each direction is associated with high blood sugar; commute distance is also related to blood pressure and body mass index. Not to mention the prolonged exposure to air pollution and the risk of lung diseases, heart attack, and stroke.

Image thanks to: www.erwinwurm.at

Image thanks to: erwinwurm.at

Even depression, anxiety, and social isolation are greater risks for those driving to and from work alone. Psychologists have found that mental health issues are a result of not just earth-shattering events, but also minor emotional experiences can manifest into negative psychological expression up to ten years later.

 

 

It has also been found that a commute of more than 45 minutes is correlated with lower sleep quality and more exhaustion than those with shorter commutes. Issues stemming from of lack of sleep are myriad, including an effect on attention, long-term memory, impulse behavior, lower immunity, and other problems.

However, not all hope is lost. If you a part of a carpool, vanpool or vanshare, that social time is thought to be having a positive effect on your health and wellbeing in the long term.

He takes the bus. Image thanks to: rollingstone.com

He takes the bus. Image thanks to: rollingstone.com

If you choose to ride your bike to work you’ll not only save money, but you’ll reap the health benefits of a regular exercise regime and reduce negative impacts on the environment.

Taking the bus can also be a cost-effective and stress-free way to commute. All that time you’d be focused on the road you could be reading, dozing, or maintaining a celebrity-sized social media presence. Busing also has positive health benefits, because even though you may walk just a few hundred yards to the nearest stop, that adds up over the week. In fact, even standing and balancing on the bus is considered a core workout (goodbye belly, hello abs!).

Don’t forget that combining modes may be your best bet for your commute.

If you’d like help planning your new commute don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Thursday, October 6th, 2016 11:11 PM | by Paige Anderson | Comments Off on Commute Consequences

JOT logo 250x75 horizontal carsello

Just by being a part of the Choose Your Way Bellevue network, you’re also eligible to participate in a program brought to you by our partners at King County: Just One Trip – Community In Motion! September 1, 2016 through February 28, 2017 the Community In Motion team is asking the you to join in the community movement and further reduce your drive alone trips. Just one trip is all it takes to get started!

The Community in Motion program was created for those live, work or play—and travel—along the urbanized corridors of I-405 and I-90 in King County. All Bellevue workers and residents are eligible. Over the last two years, 10,000 participants have already joined the program. If you can further reduce your drive-alone travel, we invite you to join them and take a test ride. Start by changing “Just One Trip” from driving alone to riding the bus, carpooling, vanpooling, biking or walking. Our Choose Your Way Bellevue team is here to help you explore travel options in your community and find alternatives to driving alone.

JOT modes only

Benefits of participating in Community In Motion program include:

  • Monthly drawings for those who log their non-drive-alone trips.
  • One Emergency Ride Home credit .
  • A reward following completion of the program. (Rewards are only available while supplies last)

Ready to Give it a Try? Get started with the pre-survey today: click here.

 

Friday, September 23rd, 2016 4:13 PM | by Paige Anderson | Add a Comment

Construction has begun on East Link’s downtown Bellevue Tunnel. Starting June 13th, contractors will close a portion of 110th Ave. NE to replace the soil under the roadway. The current substrate consists of loose fill which it is not adequate for the tunneling operation. The loose substrate will be replaced with a concrete like material and the roadway will be restored, allowing full access during tunnel construction.

Phase one of the closure will last approximately five weeks (June 13th to late July).

110th closure Phase 1

The initial closure will block all lanes in both directions of 110th Ave. NE from NE 6th St. to the loading dock of City Center Plaza. The 110th Ave. entrance to City Center Plaza will be closed during this phase of construction, but there will be limited access via the loading dock. Please contact property management for more details. Both the City Hall visitor entrance and the Skyline garage will continue to be accessible via 110th Ave. NE, but drivers will have to access it from the south.  Vehicle access to Skyline Tower, City Center Plaza and Bellevue City Hall will be restricted to a right turn only from westbound NE 4th St.. The sidewalk on the western side of  110th Ave. NE between NE 4th St. and NE 6th St. will be closed. The sidewalk on the east side will remain open.

 Phase two of the closure will continue for an additional five weeks (Late July-early September).

110th closure Phase 2

During phase two, the western-most lane will be reopened to southbound traffic. At this point, vehicles traveling southbound on 110th Ave. NE will have access to the City Center Plaza and Skyline Tower garages, but vehicles exiting the garages must exit southbound on 110th Ave. NE.

Although the construction site is relatively small, traffic impacts are expected to spread beyond the immediate area. Diversion is expected on NE 8th St., NE 4th St. and NE 2nd St. as well as 112th Ave. NE and 108th Ave. NE.

Customer and visitor access to Bellevue City Hall remains available from northbound 110th Ave. NE and westbound from NE 6th St.

 Transit access to the Bellevue Transit Center will not be affected and all bus service will continue as scheduled.

Choose Your Way Bellevue wants to help you find other transportation options.

  • Contact us for custom commute plans and carpool/vanpool matching.
  • During the 110thAve. NE closure, Choose Your Way Bellevue is offering new transit riders* ORCA cards preloaded with a $10 E-purse, to get you started.
  • King County Metro VanPool is offering five days of free rides in operating vanpool and vanshare commuter vans.
  • Contact info@cywb.orgfor more information on the ORCA and VanPool promotions.

Offer

To help you get through construction, we are inviting new transit riders* to apply for a preloaded $10 ORCA card (while supplies last) or five free rides in a KC Metro commuter van. Whether you want to commute to the office, ride to the Bellevue Collection for shopping and dining, bus to Seattle for a Mariners game, or if you want to try the Sound Transit 560 or light rail to the airport, we have your first trips covered.

We will review your application, and if approved, will mail you an ORCA card within seven business days.

Eligibility

  • *A new transit user is anyone who has not used transit more than three times in the past three months.
  • Participants who have previously received an ORCA card from Choose Your Way Bellevue are not eligible for this promotion.
  • If you are already taking advantage of your employer’s ORCA benefit, you are not eligible for this promotion.
  • For more details contact Choose Your Way Bellevue, please email info@CYWB.org.
  • Limit one per person and one per email address.

Our team is also available to help you plan a transit trip through our online commute inquiry form.

 How it works

  • Submit a request for a preloaded $10 ORCA while the promotion is available here.
  • The ORCA cards will be mailed out by Choose Your Way Bellevue staff weekly.
  • Limit one per person.
  • Limit one per email address.
  • For the KC Metro commuter van promotion find a van with a seat or for tips on finding a van, contact info@CYWB.org. Once you find a van complete this form.
Friday, June 3rd, 2016 9:38 PM | by Jason Hampton | Comments (1)

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

On a rainy Friday afternoon, Choose Your Way Bellevue staff got the awesome opportunity to tour the new State Route 520 Floating Bridge. We were accompanied by WSDOT’s communications and engineer team to show us around. The new SR 520 Bridge to the north of the existing floating bridge has been under construction for years and we’ve seen it march west towards completion. This April, WSDOT is unveiling a huge milestone in the process of the updated SR 520 connection: the floating bridge and landings segment.

We’re particularly excited about SR 520’s regional shared-use path which runs along the north side of the bridge. It is making progress as construction of the new highway moves from east to west. Because of the SR 520 program’s phased construction, the path on the bridge will not immediately link Medina and Seattle. When the floating bridge opens to traffic in spring 2016, its bike and pedestrian path will also open – but as an “out and back” trail from Medina to the west end of the floating bridge. At that time, westbound cars, trucks and buses will merge from three lanes to two when nearing Seattle and pedestrians and bicyclists will turn around. The connection to Montlake should open as part of the West Approach Bridge North project in summer 2017.

On the new floating bridge, the 14-foot wide, cross-lake lane will include belvederes to provide scenic viewpoints and resting areas for bikers, joggers and walkers.

The path will also have knee-level lighting all the way across the bridge, a protective barrier between the path and adjacent traffic, and a specially designed railing that provides views of the lake while keeping foot-powered travelers safe.

Bicyclists and pedestrians will not pay a toll to cross the bridge once the shared-use connection is open in 2017 or to use it as an “out and back” path in the interim.

Choose Your Way Bellevue staff recently toured the soon-to-be open SR 520 floating bridge on a rainy afternoon with WSDOT! Check it out the photos below:


SR 520 Bridge Tour

The SR 520 Bridge is huge so instead of driving from one end to the other construction workers use these bikes.

SR 520 Bridge Tour

Can you guess what this is? We couldn’t either, but we found out it’s a ramp for birds so they don’t get stuck in this opening on the lower part of the bridge.

SR 520 Bridge Tour

Here is a closer look at the belvedere. Enjoy a very beautiful scenic view as you take a break from walking or biking on the shared-use path.

SR 520 Bridge Tour

This is what the road looks like up close. The ridges, patterns and textures help to reduce noise on the roadway.

SR 520 Bridge Tour

We’ve reached the end of the bridge. The connection to Montlake should open as part of the West Approach Bridge North project in summer 2017.

 

Monday, March 21st, 2016 3:39 PM | by geri | Add a Comment

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