Choose Your Way Bellevue Blog

Did you know that you can have a chance to earn awesome rewards just by logging your commute? Just by signing up and logging eight non-drive alone commute trips a month you will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $100 REI gift card!

Take a page out of Brett’s book! Brett is our November Mover of the Month and commutes regularly from Northeast Bellevue to Downtown Bellevue by bus. By choosing to commute by bus, Brett has had the opportunity to meet other members of the community!

Here’s what Brett has to say:

I choose to commute by bus out of convenience. I work at Morgan Stanley adjacent to the Bellevue Transit Center. Riding the bus makes me feel like I have a shared chauffeur every morning and afternoon!

Taking the bus has also given me the opportunity to meet a diverse group of people each day. I feel like I’m missing out if I’m not on the bus.

I have lived in the area for 5 years, row for the Lake Sammamish 5am rowing team and love to ski, sail, run and walk the neighborhood with my dog Hudson. Being the Mover of the Month made my day. The REI Gift Card will come in handy with ski season right around the corner!

Learn more about Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards, including the Monthly Perks Program and 25 win $25 Drawing!

 

 

Monday, November 12th, 2018 11:59 AM | by geri | Add a Comment

Ever thought about taking the bus to work, but the “last mile” connection from the Eastgate Park-and-Ride was just a little to far from your worksite?  Ride2 has you covered, and that bus commute option is back on the table!

Ride2 Eastgate is a new service launched by King County Metro on Oct. 23. The service connects you car-free to home, school or work from transit at the Eastgate Park-and-Ride and the other way around.

How does it work? From within the 2- to 3-mile service area, you can use an app to hail a Ride2 van to take you to the park-and-ride so you can catch your bus and go where you need to! Or, if you live outside of the service area but your office is within it, take the bus to the park-and-ride and then hail a Ride2 van to travel that last mile from the park-and-ride to your office in the morning, and back at the end of the day. Best of all, it’s free for the first few months!

Sounds like a good deal, right? Well, Choose Your Way Bellevue wants to sweeten that deal—The first 25 people who show us that they’ve ridden Ride2 will receive a free Choose Your Way Bellevue backpack, more than a $20 value!

Interested? Here are three easy steps that will score you a backpack:

Step 1: Book a ride on demand or schedule it in advance with the Ride2 Park-and-Ride app to take a trip to or from the Eastgate Park-and-Ride.  If you take the bus to the park-and-ride you can use the service to travel the “last mile” to work! Need help? Visit the King County Metro Ride2 webpage.

Step 2: Enjoy your fast, easy, convenient and free (for a limited time!) ride and snap a selfie of yourself in or with the van.

Step 3: Email us your photo (info@cywb.org) and provide us with your mailing address. We’ll send you a fancy, limited edition Choose Your Way Bellevue backpack, just for taking a free ride and sharing your photo! (While supplies last. Let us know if you don’t want us to post your photo publicly.)

The Fine Print:
Do you have questions about the Ride2 program? Visit the program page. We only have a limited number of backpacks, so this promotion is first-come, first-served. We want to share your smiling selfies with the world, but we do respect your privacy–let us know if you don’t want us to share your photos on social media.

Friday, October 26th, 2018 11:18 AM | by geri | Add a Comment

In this blog, we do a dive into the inner workings of Travis and Ashley’s morning travels to work from Sammamish to Bellevue.  Travis is the newest member of the Choose Your Way Bellevue/TransManage team and makes the daily commute as part of a carpool with his girlfriend Ashley.

Read on for our interview with this dynamic duo:

CYWB: Where are you coming from and where do you each go? What is your route to/from work and when are you typically on the road?

 

  • T: We live in Sammamish, right in the middle of the city so it’s the same time if we go up through Redmond or down through Issaquah.  So we keep things fresh and do both, we have it down to a science.
  • A: We live in the Sammamish Plateau, and both work in/near Bellevue (Travis is at the BDA, and I am just down the road at a church in Medina.) Because of where we live in comparison to the lake, we can either go up-and-around the lake, passing through Redmond and hopping on 520, or we can go down through Issaquah and onto I-90. So, to keep things spicy, we do both! We take I-90 in the morning around 8:30 and use 520 at around 4:45-5:00 PM to get home.

CYWB: What are some of the benefits of carpooling together?

  • T: There are a ton of benefits, among them are saving money and time (shout out carpool lane, not HUV lane like Ash pronounces it)
  • A: Two words that I’ll make three: Car. Pool. Lane.! (Anyone else out there pronounce the “HOV” like you’re saying “hovercraft”? No? Bueller?) I bet Travis has more relational/interpersonal benefits that he’ll list for you, he’s very sentimental like that.

CYWB: Do you have any special routines that are part of the trip that you can share? 

 

  • T: My routine is to make sure that we can get out the door in a timely manner.  I see varying results.  Other than that, we listen to the radio and have conversations about our days ahead.
  • A: Travis and I like to play a game in the morning where he desperately tries to get us out the door so that we’re on time for work, while I sleepily try to thwart all his plans, pulling the covers over my face and demanding coffee. This counts as a routine, right?

CYWB:  Was there anything surprising that you discovered about carpooling?  Either about the trip itself or about each other?

 

  • T: I think the surprising part was how much easier it is that I thought.  We share the one car between the two of us and I thought it would be really challenging just owning one car, but it has been a pleasant surprise in just how easy and simple it has made things.
  • A: In addition to what Travis has already said, I’m also really thankful for the ways it’s taught us to be more mindful of ourselves and of one another as a couple. Our jobs can be pretty demanding, and before Travis and I shared a car, there would be nights I’d stay in my office until traffic had all but cleared on the highways (which, if you live here, you know that’s LATE). It’s much easier to ignore self-care and healthy work-life boundaries when there’s no one to account to. However, now that we ride together, it’s easier to recognize those boundaries and fight to preserve them. At the end of the day, it’s not just about my rest but his as well. Our responsibility for one another helps recalibrate the work-life balance that so many people in our over-worked, under-rested society struggle to maintain.

CYWB:  Who is the driver and who is the passenger? How do you decide who drives?

  • T: Ashley is the driver on the way to work and I am the driver on the way home.  We sort of decided to split it up that way because we didn’t want any one of us to drive often. Also, Ashley has a false sense of her ability to drive while not spilling her coffee…..  I usually have the napkins handy.
  • A: I’m the driver in the morning because I know how to drive with a full mug of coffee without spilling it on myself (most of the time).

CYWB:  How do you recommend that someone get started finding a carpool or rideshare to work?

  • T: I would recommend that someone who is interested to check out the Waze Carpool app and Scoop.  Another way would be to ask around with people in your building or neighbors.  [Editor’s note: check out several different programs and tools to help you find a ridematch on our Apps & Technology page!]
  • A: I would say start where you live and work – you may be surprised how many people share your route or at least overlap with it! If that doesn’t work, I’m sure there’s an app (or twenty) that can link you with folks in your area who’d like to enjoy the HOV(er) lane as much as I do!

Thanks you two–we’ll check in again later to see how things are going!

To our readers: If you’re interested in carpooling or vanpooling, be sure to enter your ridematch information in the regional RideshareOnline system so you can find others commuting in your direction, and they can find you! Check out our infographic on how to enter your ridematch trip information in RSO. For other ridesharing tips and to learn about other tools such as iCarpool, Scoop and Waze,” check out our Share the Ride page.

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staffer Tim

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018 11:20 AM | by geri | Add a Comment

As part of East Link light rail construction, the Rainier Freeway station at I-90 will be closed starting Sept. 22 2018.  It will reopen as Judkins Park Link Station in 2023.  This may have a major impact on Bellevue residents, visitors and employees who use the Rainier Freeway Station.  Read on the find out how this may affect Bellevue readers, and what you need to know to change your travel plans if you are affected:

Most bus routes that currently serve the Rainier Freeway Station, like Route 550, will bypass the area, but Routes 554, 217, and select Route 212 trips will serve new stops on Rainier Avenue South and S Charles St. The transit-only roadway that connects the Rainier Freeway Station to Downtown Seattle will also close, leading to modest increases in travel time.

 

Route 550:

Route 550 will no longer stop at Rainier Avenue South due to the closure of the Rainier Freeway Station. 550 buses will continue to access all normal Downtown Seattle stops (International District, Pioneer Square, University Street,Westlake). This route also will not use the transit-only roadway on I-90 to get downtown. It will proceed on the I-90 mainline into Downtown Seattle.

For Bellevue Route 550 Riders:

  • If you stop at Rainier Avenue: Route 550 will no longer stop at Rainier Avenue South. To access the Rainier Valley, you may take Route 550 to North Mercer Wayand 80th Avenue SE (Mercer Island Park and Ride) and transfer to Route 554. You may also ride the 550 to the International District Station and transfer to a Rainier Valley bound service such as Link or Route 7 or 106.
  • If you ride between Bellevue and Downtown Seattle or other parts of the Eastside your stops will not change, but expect slightly longer travel times.

Route 554:

While route 550 will bypass the area, Route 554 will exit I-90 at Rainier Avenue South and access downtown Seattle via South Dearborn Street, including new stops at Rainier Avenue South and South Charles Street.

Bellevue-Eastgate Route 554 riders:

  • If you get on or off the bus at Rainier Avenue: Route 554 will serve a pair of bus stops at Rainier Avenue South and South Charles Street all day, every day, and will continue to serve the Eastgate Freeway Station. The 212 and 217 will also continue to go from Rainier Avenue to the Eastgate Park & Ride in the mornings, and fromEastgate to Rainier Avenue in the afternoons. Routes 216, 218, and 219 will no longer serve Rainier Avenue.
  • If you travel to Eastgate on this route from Downtown Seattle: Route 554 will pick up riders at existing stops along 2nd Avenue and a new stop at 2nd Ave Extension South and Yesler Way in Downtown Seattle, making similar stops as today.
  • If you travel to Downtown Seattle on this route from Eastgate: Route 554 will drop off riders on the eastside of 4th Avenue in Downtown Seattle.
  • If you travel within the Eastside: your route will not change.

Going eastbound, Route 554’s last stop in downtown Seattle will move to Second Avenue Extension South and Yesler Way from Fifth Avenue South and South Jackson Street. The nine King County Metro routes that serve I-90 will also change.  View those changes by visiting the King County Metro Service Change Page (Scroll down to Route Revisions and filter the list by “Rainier Freeway Station Closure”)

Overall, frequency will decrease slightly and trip times will be adjusted to maintain on-time performance. You can also keep up to date on the latest changes by joining Sound Transit’s Service Planning, Route 550, or Route 554 email lists.

Much of this information has been collected from the Sound Transit I-90 Services Change website.  If you have questions email us at info@cywb.org! Are you affected by the closure and need some help figuring out travel options? Submit a request for a custom Commute Inquiry and we’ll do the planning for you!

-Choose You Way Bellevue Staffer Tim

Monday, September 24th, 2018 1:51 PM | by Tim Kelley | Add a Comment

Downtown Demonstration Bikeway:

Earlier this summer, the City of Bellevue opened the Downtown Demonstration Bikeway along 108th Avenue Northeast from Main Street to Northeast 12th Street. This almost one-mile-long corridor features bike facilities on both sides of 108th Avenue Northeast and provides a safer and more comfortable option than riding in the main travel lanes for people who bike in Bellevue’s busiest neighborhood.

The bike lanes feature painted buffer areas, curb and post dividers, and planter boxes to separate people bicycling from vehicle traffic. Green pavement markings highlight turn lanes, driveways, and other places where people bicycling and driving may cross paths. View the Downtown Demonstration Bikeway Brochure for an overview and block-by-block detail of the infrastructure used in the design.

The bikeway officially opened on Tuesday, July 31 with a Grand Opening Celebration that included speakers from the City of Bellevue, the Bellevue Downtown Association, HNTB, and King County Metro. More than 400 interested residents and employees came out to celebrate with community partners from all over the Eastside.

Watch the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony video from Bellevue Television below:

Bike Share Launches in Bellevue:

Bike share officially launched in Bellevue on the same day with fifty bikes and free helmets for people who attended the celebration event. The system has already grown to nearly two hundred bikes available across town, and up to four hundred are currently allowed under the City’s rules. The City of Bellevue does not own or operate the system, but it regulates how private companies can use public streets and sidewalks to provide bike share services. Lime is the only permitted vendor under a pilot program that will last one year and will be evaluated over the coming months. Lime uses free-floating “dockless” bikes like those available in Seattle since summer 2017.

One unique feature to Bellevue’s pilot is that all bicycles are electric-assist, or e-bikes. While slightly more expensive per ride than normal bikes, e-bikes provide a boost while pedaling to help overcome hills and make the service easier to use for more people.

To help combat sidewalk clutter, the city has designated preferred parking areas, called “bike hubs,” conveniently located along sidewalks around Downtown. The hubs are painted areas that encourage riders to park in places that are out of the way to help keep sidewalks clear for people walking. More bike hubs are coming soon to Downtown and other neighborhoods, including Factoria and Crossroads.

Do you have general questions about bike share (What is it? How do you use it? How much does it cost?) or even more technical questions (Where can I park it? Steps to report an issue)? Then check out the very helpful Bike Share Frequently Asked Questions page.

With the downtown bikeway opening, bike share launch, and a number of Transportation Levy Projects focused specifically on improving bicycle facilities, 2018 is truly shaping up as the “Year of the Bicycle” in Bellevue. See you in the bike lanes!

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staffer Tim

Friday, August 24th, 2018 10:10 AM | by Tim Kelley | Add a Comment

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