Choose Your Way Bellevue Blog

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

Bike Everywhere Month in Bellevue

Get ready, because good weather is in the air and that means that Bike Everywhere Month is right around the corner! Here are a few exciting opportunities the City of Bellevue is offering to get you out on two wheels during the month of May:

Before we even get to May, the City of Bellevue is hosting a “Basics of Urban Cycling” class on Wednesday, April 25th at noon at City Hall. The class will cover planning your bike route, riding safely and comfortably, rules of the road, clothing, gear, and is led by a Cascade Bicycle Club instructor.  Free pizza will be provided—RSVP required here!

And to officially kick off Bike Month, including the Bike Everywhere Challenge, Choose Your Bellevue is hosting the 2018 Eastside Bike Bash at REI-Bellevue with Cascade Bicycle Club and all our friends on May 1 from 4pm-7pm.  Learn about exciting bike projects coming to the Eastside and snack on goodies from KIND Bar and fresh roasted s’mores from REI.  We’ll have friends and partners from all over the Eastside with fun giveaways and coupons—check out the details here.

And don’t forget that May 18th is Bike Everywhere Day!  Find your nearest Celebration Station!

Additional Resources:

 -Choose Your Way Bellevue Staff

Friday, April 20th, 2018 9:12 AM | by Tim Kelley | Add a Comment

Each month we choose a trip-logger at random to share their commute story and receive a $100 REI gift card to keep up the momentum on their non-drive-alone commute. This month’s winner is Kim B. who takes the bus from Kent to Bellevue when she goes into work, but also telecommutes at least once a week (taking no trip also counts as a non-drive-alone trip!). Here’s her story:

“I have been commuting by bus since 2003 and just in the last couple of years have added working from home.  I bus to work because traffic is awful, I can multitask while on the bus and it saves me money.  My work pays for my bus pass, so it is a great solution for me.  Working from home has been a blessing as well.

I enjoy spending time with my family, friends and my pets.  We spend time with our 11-year-old golden retriever by taking her to the ocean, lakes and the mountains to play in the snow.  We also have two kitties that we adopted and keep us busy.  We also like to travel a few times a year to tropical destinations and more recently, trying to see all 50 states.

I recommend taking the bus to work for anyone doing the I-405 commute.  It saves wear and tear on your vehicle, money for gas and also less chance of an accident in your car.”

Thanks, Kim!

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 Staff

Monday, April 9th, 2018 12:49 PM | by admin | Add a Comment

24th Street Bike Lanes

Hot on the heels of getting the green light for a Downtown Demonstration Bikeway and having a Bikeshare permit system vetted, there are more bike projects coming to the streets of Bellevue!  Next up are buffered bike lanes on NE 24th Street from Northup Way to the SR-520 Trail.

Construction is slated to start in mid-April and improvements include widening the existing bike lanes from five feet to six-and-one-half feet, adding a three-foot-wide bike lane buffer, and green bicycle markings. This improvement will increase the separation between bicyclists and vehicles, providing more comfort and safety for users of all ages and abilities.  View the official construction alert here for more details.

From the SR-520 trail, which parallels the highway all the way to Redmond, the NE 24th Street lanes will connect to the green bike lanes (literally green paint) on Northup Way.  People on bikes can connect to Downtown Bellevue using the bike lanes and facilities on NE 116th Avenue/NE 12th Street and in the coming months will be able to connect to the Eastside Rail Corridor.

24th Street Bike Lanes Map

This NE 24th Street bike lane project is part of the larger Neighborhood Safety, Connectivity and Congestion Levy project, which address a backlog of neighborhood safety, connectivity, sidewalk, bicycle, technology, congestion reduction and maintenance projects. There are currently 43 projects that will be delivered during 2017-2018.

You can read more about this 20 year program, including bike projects, on the city’s Transportation Levy Project page.

Choose Your Way Bellevue Staffer, Tim

Monday, April 2nd, 2018 4:35 PM | by Tim Kelley | Add a Comment

Although I normally ride the bus to work (here in Downtown Bellevue), I will drive in once in a blue moon when I need a car for some reason. Every time I have to drive to Downtown Bellevue, it drives me nuts.

I commute from Mercer Island and while the driving time is similar, when you factor in having to find a parking spot, not being able to use the carpool lane, and having to walk from the parking garage, it’s actually much faster for me to just hop on and off the bus.

I’m not saying that it will be faster for everyone to take public transit. I know that I’m one of the lucky ones in this sense. However, there are so many great reasons to take public transit even if it makes your commute a little more complicated. If you look into it, you might even find that your commute is made easier by not driving.

Here are some of the reasons why I love taking the bus: 

  • Helps the environment – I log my commute online and only halfway through March, I’ve already saved 3 gallons of gasoline and 40 pounds of carbon! That’s 960 pounds of carbon in a year!
  • Helps my wallet – My commute log shows that I’ve saved $19 so far this month by not driving – by the end of the month I’ll have paid for my coffee for the month! My job pays for my ORCA transit pass so the savings are even better (ask your employer if they subsidize transit – you’ll find that a lot of them do)! On top of that, I’m not putting wear and tear on a car by driving it.
  • Increases personal time – Since I don’t have to focus on driving, I can focus on other things! My commute can be spent catching up on the latest podcast, checking my email, reading a book, or (as often happens) sneaking in some extra sleep! It’s so nice not having to focus on the road.
  • Free rewards – just for logging your non-drive-alone commute or committing to reduce drive-alone trips, you can get entered to win free stuff through Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards and Just One Trip (ex. REI gift cards, Amazon gift cards, gas cards, bus passes and more!) You also get monthly discounts to local restaurants and businesses. There are lots of options for bus riders as well as people who use other forms of commuting (vanpool, biking, etc.). Sign up now – who doesn’t like free stuff?

Tips to Get Started:

“When you’re sitting in your car complaining about traffic, just remember – you are traffic.” – a brilliant coworker of mine 

Emma, Choose Your Way Bellevue Staffer

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018 2:33 PM | by admin | Add a Comment

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