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Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards: 2023 in Review

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 Trip Log Review grahpic

 

With the new year already here, comes time for reflecting on 2023. We’ve looked at all the trips Choose Your Way Bellevue (CYWB) commuters have logged within the past year and we’ve broken it down by the number of mode trips. It's been quite a year for CYWB commuters!  

 

You've managed to log impressive travel mode trips and here is the breakdown:  

  • 21,474 Bus 

  • 14,317 Telework 

  • 9,415 Carpool 

  • 4,774 Bike 

  • 3,442 walking 

  • 1,825 Vanpool 

 

That's a big deal, not to mention some big savings compared to driving alone! 

  • 459,544 pounds of carbon dioxide saved 

  • 23,787 gallons of gas saved 

  • $179,000 in monetary savings 

 

You've been quite interested in finding ride matches as well, with just over 47,000 ridematch requests sent! 

 

Note: You can learn how to create a ridematch with our handy infographic! 

Don’t forget to continue logging your trips by signing up or logging in at www.ChooseYourWayBellevue.org/rewards. Our “Return-to-Travel campaign is offering a guaranteed $50 reward to all participants who log 25 days of non-drive-alone travel (other than telework or compressed work week) in Bellevue! Reward types include Spotify, Hulu and REI. Check it out and get logging 

 

Let’s build on the success of 2023 and make 2024 an even better year for non-drive-alone modes in Bellevue – thank you CYWB commuters! 

 

-Choose Your Way staffer Jake 

 

Commuting in the Cold

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Winter is coming, and along with it comes a new season of weather that can affect many aspects of your daily commute route. Rain can make the roads slippery and impact your vision; the darker days can make it harder for drivers to see you; and snow – while it's fun to look at and play in – can drastically impact your day-to-day travel.  
 

Snowy Downtown Street in Bellevue

What to do: The rain and cold can make biking, walking, and transit a bit less enjoyable, but with the right preparation, you can make it a more comfortable experience. Here are some tips from Choose Your Way Bellevue:

  • Check the weather forecast
    • Always know what you are walking into when you walk out the door, so you are best prepared to deal with it.  
  • Use your resources and plan ahead
  • Leave early
    • Give yourself some extra time to bike and walk to your destination or the bus stop. Rushing in bad weather can be stressful and lead to a slip or fall.  
  • Use the right gear
    • It can rain steadily for hours at a time; having a waterproof jacket and waterproof shoes will go a long way.
    • Wear gloves and a warm hat when walking and biking in cold, windy weather, to avoid discomfort—but be sure your helmet fits properly over your hat.
    • Especially during the shorter days of winter, wear reflective gear, a white front light and red rear light and reflectors on your bike or person when biking or walking in wintery and dark conditions to increase visibility. Per state law, at night, bikes must have white light on the front and a red reflector on the back.
    • Wearing layers goes a long way in keeping you warm, while also giving you access to take layers off once you get on the warm, cozy bus.
  • Watch your step
    • When entering and exiting the bus, make sure to watch your step and use any available handrailing.
  • Check out the following winter travel tips from the City of Bellevue:
    • Practice putting on your tire chains at home before you need them and put on traction tires if you have them.
    • Have an ice scraper/snow brush and other essentials for your car. Visit https://wsdot.com/travel/real-time/mountainpasses/winterdrivingtips for a checklist of other items to have in your car to be prepared.
    • Purchase a snow shovel. Clearing your sidewalk of snow helps keep people who are walking and rolling safe!
    • Buy shoes with good grip, ice grippers to put on your shoes, a walking stick or other mobility safety devices to help with walking in winter conditions.
    • Know whom to contact in an emergency:
      • For life-threatening emergencies, call 911.
      • To report blocked or hazardous streets and sidewalks, fallen trees and similar problems, call the city’s 24-hour response line at 425-452-7840.
      • Call Puget Sound Energy at 1-888-225-5773 to report a power outage.
      • Non-emergencies can also be reported through the MyBellevue app.

In addition to SoundTransit.org/alerts and MetroWinter.com for transit information during winter weather, the following city resources can keep you informed:

During a winter event, city staff work 24/7 in 12-hour shifts to clear roads. Streets are prioritized for plowing based on a snow response map that considers access for emergency services, transit, traffic volume and other factors. These major routes may require repeated plowing and sanding before crews are able to clear neighborhood streets.

For more tips and information on the city’s winter weather response visit BellevueWA.gov/snow-ice.

Now that you've been provided tips for traveling in the winter, including biking, walking, and riding the bus, you're more prepared to take to the streets! Don't forget to check out the Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards program to learn what incentives you could win for logging your non-drive-alone trips!

 

-Choose Your Way staffer Jake

 

 

 

   

 

Exploring the Eastside Using the New “Transit on the Eastside” Map

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Are you getting excited about the upcoming East Link Extension? Are you interested in learning more about the existing transit service already available on the Eastside? If you answered yes to either of those questions, you should check out the new interactive map commissioned by Move Redmond!

A map of a city

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The map, which you can find here, is a valuable resource that can not only help you plan your trips and take advantage of the transit service already available along the Eastside but also give you a sneak peek of how your trip might change with the East Link Extension, because you can see its routing right on the map!

A suite of bus route changes are likely to occur once the full East Link line to Seattle is open in 2025. Called “East Link Connections,” you can check out those here .

In the meantime, the map above shows the current routing and frequency level of almost every Eastside bus route from as far north as Bothell all the way to Newcastle in the south to Sammamish in the East. It includes the eight Eastside stations that will be part of the East Link Extension, from Mercer Island and South Bellevue through downtown Bellevue and the Bel-Red area to the Redmond Technology Station (note that only South Bellevue eastward will be open in 2024, and the rest of the stops in 2025).

The map is also a great way to discover new places, find the best route or station for your destination, and plan your trip accordingly. Whether you are a Bellevue resident or a visitor, the map can help you explore the Eastside and beyond. The map’s legend allows you to browse the map by schools, universities/colleges, hospitals, libraries, secure bike parking and other landmarks. For each light rail station or transit hub, you can see the nearby amenities and attractions that you can visit with a short walk, bike ride, or bus ride. For example, you can see that the Bellevue Transit Center is close to the libraryKaiser Permanente and Overlake HospitalBellevue Botanical Garden, and Bellevue High School. You can also see that the South Bellevue Light Rail Station is a close walk to Mercer Slough Nature Park

Looking to Try Transit out? Choose Your Way Bellevue’s Try Transit offer is here to help! If you haven’t ridden transit three times in the last three months, fill out this form and we’ll send you an ORCA card preloaded with $25. Once you start riding (or if you already do) don’t forget to log your trips and begin earning rewards with our Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards program!

What are you waiting for? Check out the map and start planning your next adventure. You might be surprised by what you can find and do with already existing transit. Happy exploring!

-Choose Your Way staffer Jake

20 Things You Could Do This Month If You Didn’t Buy a Car 

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The cost of a car isn’t cheap. Kelley Blue Book estimates the average cost of a new vehicle last August at $48,165. Using that number and current interest rates, that would put monthly payments at over $700. After 12 months, that’s $8,400 a year and that doesn’t include gas, insurance, or any maintenance. Check out our “Calculate Your Commute Cost” section on our website to calculate your commute and find out how much you could save.  In this blog, we’ll have some fun and show you what you could do this month if you leaned into your non-drive-alone options and saved that money!