Choose Your Way Bellevue Blog

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.

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

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

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

The City of Bellevue is transforming into a more user-friendly city.

With a measured approach that focuses on cooperating with local businesses and minimizing construction impacts, city officials and planners are working to enhance mobility and safety while also improving the environment for pedestrians and cyclists.

The intersection at NE 4th St and 108th Ave NE is one great example how Downtown Bellevue is transforming its streets and evolving into a more walkable and bike-friendly city. The new intersection highlights a number of improvements that are popping up all around the city:

  • New northbound bike lane
  • Wider crosswalks and curb ramps promote safer crossings for pedestrians
  • New paving designs that enhance the streetscape and ambiance

Take a look at the new designs below:

 

Images by Jacob Brett

Images by Jacob Brett

Have you tried out this new intersection? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!

 

Monday, November 21st, 2016 7:08 PM | by admin | Add a Comment

Days are getting shorter, and now that the clocks have rolled back it is more important than ever to stay ALERT, to stay DRY and stay VISIBLE this time of year. Here are some tips for keeping your commute safe and cozy on the bus, bike or on foot this winter.

bus in the rain

Image thanks to ArtBlart.com

  • ALERT: If you’re out walking or biking, be aware that drivers won’t be able to see you as well with rain and darkness as they may have in the summer months. Scan as you walk and make eye contact with drivers at intersections before crossing in front of turning cars, and try not to surprise drivers. Make your presence known and be predictable.
  • DRY: The rain can be cold while you are waiting for a bus. Bring an extra pair of shoes, rubber boots, a raincoat, scarf or rain jacket to stay dry and warm while waiting. For tips on how to stay dry while biking in the rain, check out this Seattle Bike Blog post.
  • VISIBLE: Brights matter! Neon, reflective tape or clothing can outline your figure so buses, cars, and trucks can see you when you’re crossing the street or cycling to work. Don’t take any chances this winter. If you’ve got a black rain coat that you’re in love with, spring for a neon umbrella to give you some added protection. Our local bike shops have all sorts of spoke reflectors and neon gear to make sure you are seen by your fellow road users.

Do you have a safety tip you use every year? Share it with us on Facebook or via email.

Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Augusta (Transit Rider)

Thursday, November 17th, 2016 11:33 PM | by augusta | Add a Comment

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