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A Fresh New Look for our Website

Posted on May 23, 2019

If you’re reading this post, you are viewing our newly refreshed, redesigned Choose Your Way Bellevue website! We wanted to keep providing you the same useful travel option information for getting around Bellevue, while streamlining it for easier viewing. Our intent is a clean look with fewer words and pages that get straight to the point.

As before, you can find transportation options in the four main links going across every page of the site – Walk (including pedestrian travel by wheelchair); Bike; Transit; and Share the Ride, which covers carpooling and vanpooling. Also, check out our “audience” link buttons in the top white section of each page for information pertinent to your needs: For Commuters, For Businesses, and For Students.

Are you a Bellevue employer or property manager seeking information about providing commute options to your employees? Instead of separate sections, now all this information can be reached at our new For Businesses audience button (above and to the right). Within this section of the site, we have consolidated what applies to both employers and property managers, and clearly delineated what is distinct to each audience as well.

Bellevue travelers can still participate in Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards (like Perks, 25 win $25 and Mover of the Month) by clicking Learn about Rewards in the upper right. Earn rewards by logging your non-drive-alone trips that start or end in Bellevue – be sure to check that out if you haven’t already.

So cruise through to find out how to get around Bellevue with less stress and cost (or help your employees do so), with a nice side effect of improving mobility for our community as a whole. And tell us what you think in the comments below or by emailing info@cywb.org. Happy viewing!

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Kate Johnson

May’s Mover of the Month: Mateusz

Posted on May 20, 2019

May Pictures

Did you know that you can have a chance to earn awesome rewards just by logging your commute?

Take a page out of Mateusz’s book, our May Mover of the Month, who won our $100 drawing for May. He [JK1] commutes regularly from Downtown Bellevue to Downtown Seattle by bus. By choosing to commute by bus, Matt has saved thousands of dollars per year and has time to catch up on his Netflix shows!

Here’s what he has to say:

I take the 550 bus from Bellevue Transit Center to Downtown Seattle. I get off the bus near Westlake Center, and take a 20-minute walk to the South Lake Union area, where I work. I prefer to wake up early, so I usually take the 6:18 a.m. bus and arrive at the office around 7 a.m.

I happen to live in an apartment building one block away from the Bellevue Transit Center, so it just makes sense to take a bus to work, given how convenient the connection is.

I like to spend my morning and evening commutes reading e-books, watching Netflix, or listening to music--inn general, relaxing. Riding a bus allowed me to catch up on Breaking Bad, The Office, and the Bourne book series :).

I moved to the US with my wife over five years ago, and we both love it here. I especially enjoy the Seattle music scene and, of course, the Seahawks!

A huge thank you to Mateusz for sharing his commute with us! We hope his experience can serve as inspiration for you to try out your own alternative mode of transportation – 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 Tim

Its Time to Lime!

Posted on May 10, 2019

Would you ride a bike share  bike if you knew the benefits of bike share? Do you think riding bike share is only for commuters and tourists? Well, it’s not! And it’s more than just riding a bike. Bike share aids in transforming how people get around in the city. 

“I own a bike, so why do I need to rent a bike if I already have one?” Okay, I know, I’ve heard this before.
So, let me share this with you and then maybe you can answer your own question. You have a bike and you ride it for sport, commute, or time with the family? It doesn’t matter, there’s probably a benefit for you or for whatever your legs desire! (ha-ha, just a little humor).

So, do you ever get tired of taking your bike off the patio porch, bringing it up from the basement or maybe don’t feel like loading it on the back of the SUV? Maybe you don’t have a car, you live on campus or you have a long walk to get to public transportation commute.  

Whatever the reason, listen up. You may want to be transformed after this. The City of Bellevue introduced Lime bike share bikes last summer and now has bikes all over the city:


 

The shiny green and yellow bikes you see around the city are more than just a bike for commuters and tourists. The free-floating Lime bikes offer benefits that make biking easy, accessible and convenient for even first-time users. How convenient? Very convenient! Just download the Lime app, look for a green and yellow bike, unlock, and ride!

Bike share can replace a car, make last-mile connections for public transit, and save users up to 74% of the average cost of owning and operating a personal vehicle . During bike month, challenge yourself to learn more about the benefits of taking Lime and get out and ride one!

But don’t take our word for it, check out how one Seattleite saved money, parked her own bike and had a successful trip taking bike share instead of her own wheels.

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staffer Phyllis
 

May Is Bike Everywhere Month!

Posted on April 10, 2019

 

Get ready–Spring 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:

And to officially kick off Bike Month, including the Bike Everywhere Challenge, Choose Your Bellevue is hosting the 2019 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, snack on delicious goodies, and meet up with other like-minded people who ride bikes.  We’ll have friends and partners from all over the Eastside with fun giveaways and coupons!

And don’t forget that May 17th is Bike Everywhere Day!  Find your nearest Celebration Station!

Want to give biking a try, but have questions or don’t know where to get started?  The City of Bellevue will be hosting a “Basics of Urban Cycling” class at City Hall in May. 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.  Dates and times are still TBD, but check back soon for more details!

Additional Resources:

 -Choose Your Way Bellevue Staff

Meet Phyllis: Real Life Lessons on Commuting

Posted on April 10, 2019

Phyllis

And how I dealt with Route 550 move out of the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel onto surface streets!

Editor note: Phyllis is the newest member of the Choose Your Way Bellevue Outreach team. While you can find her commuting from Columbia City to Downtown Bellevue using light rail and the bus for work, she’s most happy when she’s out riding her bike for transportation or recreation!

Whenever I can park my car, walk, bike or take transit, or light rail, I do it. I’m highly energized and like the outdoors and doing things that are productive towards health, fitness and the environment. This way I can contribute to all three. Riding my purple and red Kestrel bike gives me a sense of freedom and makes a daily gym routine seem hard. Pedaling on a fresh and crisp morning is quite exhilarating and prepares me for what is next to come.

I live a few blocks from the Columbia City light rail station and although I prefer biking for a commute to work, taking the light rail and bus is more efficient. The walk to my neighborhood station is quick and I can hop on the Link and head to the International District.  My commute to Bellevue offers various options via the bus and light rail and takes about an hour from start to finish without having to sit in the heavily congested traffic that Seattle is incurring more rapidly as the city continues to grow. Not bad, right?

Phyllis

Day 1– This week I chose the light rail and the bus, Route 550 from Seattle to Bellevue. My first day was a little challenging as the 550-bus route had changed. Learn more about buses moving out of the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel on Choose Your Way Bellevue’s Seattle Squeeze for Bellevueites page. I approached Bay 2 of the transit tunnel and noticed there were no buses in sight and a large detour sign that included information and a map.

Phyllis

I read the information and learned that the Route #550 bus stop was now located six blocks north at Yesler and 2nd Avenue. After reading the information, and reviewing the map, I walked upstairs and outside the tunnel and headed north. My eyes stared in the direction of where the bus would depart. At that moment I could see the bus and the doors were closing. I waved my hand to get the attention of the bus driver and jetted pass a lady that was trying to make it to the bus. I got there first and by the kindness of the bus driver he waited a few extra seconds to make sure she made it on too. A lesson learned, be prepared. Check the bus sites prior to taking the bus. Change happen, and Metro is very informative about route changes with posting given prior to the change.  You can sign up to receive alerts for your favorite routes with both Sound Transit and King County Metro. So, if you don’t ride frequently, don’t do what I did, check the route first. Lesson 1 learned.

Phyllis

Day 2– The second day was a breeze. I took the light rail from Columbia City and got off at Pioneer Square which was one stop beyond the first day. Walked upstairs out to Yesler and 2nd and here come the 550, hey that’s my bus? Yay! I thought this was much easier than walking up the stairs and across to the other side to catch the bus after getting off the Link to go to Bellevue on the prior route. People at this bus stop were lined up in an orderly fashion and I found my place at the end of the line. Next, I stepped on the bus, used my new ORCA card, found a seat and enjoyed the ride. It’s a 30-minute commute and the bus drop me off less than a block away of my destination. This is so easy!  Was there a lesson learned? Yes! Prepare, use the info that listed on the web, and plan your ride. I did, and my ride was very efficient with no bumps along the way.

Phyllis

Day 3- Headed out the door at 7:15 a.m. taking the same route as yesterday. What challenges will I have today and, if so how will I handle it?

Phyllis

I enjoyed my light rail ride just a little too much this day relaxing in the moment that I missed my Pioneer Square stop. No problem, I got off at the next stop – University and walked over to the opposite side of the tunnel and waited for the Link. I heard the train notification arrival time announced on the intercom; “The next train will be arriving in two minutes.” I waited and boarded the next train and got off at the very next stop. Followed the same route as yesterday and there I see, from a half block away, people lined up to the right and I look to my left and see the #550 three blocks north. I crossed the street at the light twice and found my self at the end of the line again. I found a seat about three rows back, sat and enjoyed the ride while finishing up on a few emails on my phone. Thirty minutes later, I’m getting off the bus and walking toward work.

Phyllis

The first three days haven’t been quite routine, but I plan on having a standard routine yet with mixing it up a little. I can also take the Route #7 bus instead of taking the Link and connect with the #550. It may take a few minutes more, but as long as I get to work on time, I like the experience of learning different ways of getting around the city. I can also take my current light rail trip but extend it to UW and take the #271 from there to the Bellevue Transit Center. This keeps it fun and adventurous. I took advantage of the information that we share with commuters through our custom commute plans about taking the bus and other ways to get around without riding in a single-occupant vehicle.

Phyllis

I used the King County Metro Trip Planner and learned how to map out the many different routes based on ETA. Next week I will try a different route and maybe next month I’ll move on to something I haven’t tried. Being new to the program, I appreciate Choose Your Way Bellevue information on getting around when not driving. I’m a morning person and energized about commuting. Feel free to share your experiences of your commute, you don’t have to be a morning person to do that!

Phyllis

I enjoy all modes of commuting and hope that you will try one of the multi-modal ways of commuting while leaving your car at home. Happy Commuting!

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staffer Phyllis!

Sound Transit March Service Change

Posted on March 8, 2019

From Sound Transit:

On March 23, 2019, ST Express bus 550 will shift from the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel to surface streets to accommodate the Washington State Convention Center construction and future Link light rail expansion.

Due to Convention Center construction and to prepare for light rail expansion, buses will permanently leave the downtown transit tunnel. ST Express Route 550 and six Metro routes will operate on surface streets.

All tunnel buses will move to surface streets on March 23, 2019

ST Bus!

With buses no longer sharing downtown tunnel stations with trains, Link light rail will be more reliable and the system will be ready to expand. Extensions to Northgate (2021) and Mercer Island, Bellevue and Overlake (2023) are under construction. Trains will then reach Lynnwood, Federal Way and downtown Redmond in 2024; West Seattle and Tacoma in 2030; Ballard and South Lake Union in 2035; Everett in 2036; and South Kirkland and Issaquah in 2041.

As the system expands, Sound Transit will operate longer trains at higher frequency. Early next year, Sound Transit will begin the process of connecting tracks from the Eastside to the current system at International District Station.

Sound Transit, Metro, and SDOT issued the March 2019 Service Change press release on Feb. 20.

Signage at bus stops will go up in the first week of March, and street teams will be out at stops several days before and after the service change at affected stops to direct riders to their new/revised bus stops.

The newly updated Downtown Accessibility Map shows how to get around the steep grades of downtown Seattle.

Bus service changes

  • Route 513 will extend to Seaway Transit Center and connect to Community Transit’s Swift Green Line. The route will serve a new stop at Casino Road and Evergreen Way, which will replace the current stop at Evergreen Way and 79th Place. All other stops will remain the same.
  • Route 542 will add evening and weekend service between Redmond/Overlake and the University District to mitigate the June 2019 closure of the Montlake Freeway Station.
  • Route 550 will travel inbound to Seattle via 4th Avenue and Pike Street, and outbound to Mercer Island and Bellevue via Union Street and 2nd Avenue. Outbound riders currently boarding at International District Station will board at 2nd Ave Ext S & Yesler Way. Visit here for more info on new routings for Metro tunnel routes 41, 74, 101, 102, 150, and 255.
  • Route 555 will only operate between Northgate and Bellevue starting on March 25, 2019.  Sound Transit will invest resources into improving reliability on Route 554. Riders can use King County Metro Route 271 between Issaquah, Eastgate and Bellevue or routes 240 or 241 between Bellevue and Eastgate.
  • Route 580 will run fewer trips to Lakewood beginning March 25, focusing resources on the high-ridership segment between Puyallup Station and South Hill Park and Ride.

In addition to these major changes, Sound Transit is making additional minor service adjustments to several other ST Express routes. Visit soundtransit.org/servicechange for more info.

If you ride an affected route, sign up for Rider Alerts to get the most up-to-date information delivered right to your inbox.

March’s Mover of the Month: Jeff!

Posted on March 7, 2019


Jeff, on a recent trip to Glacier National Park

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 in 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.

Jeff is our March Mover of the Month and commutes regularly from Issaquah to Bellevue by bus. By choosing to commute by bus, Jeff is less stressed, saves money with an employer subsidized bus pass, and enjoys have some “me” time on his commute.

We caught up with Jeff earlier this week and this is what he had to say about his commute:

CYWB: What is your green commute (what is your mode and where are you coming from/going to)?

Jeff: I’m fortunate enough to be within walking distance of the Issaquah Highlands Park and Ride so I catch the Sound Transit 556 Express in the mornings and get off at the Bellevue Transit Center where I’m within walking distance of my building.  I feel like I’m living the dream with an efficient, car-free commute to and from work.


CYWB: Why do you choose to commute this way?

Jeff: There are few reasons I commute by bus.  The #1 reason I commute by bus is because it’s the least stressful way of getting to work.  I’d rather have someone else do the driving instead of me dealing with traffic.  My employer also subsidizes my bus pass, so I’m saving money on transportation and not having to spend as much money on gas.  On top of that, I can read my Kindle on the bus or take a nap.  It’s basically extra time in my day for whatever I want to do.


CYWB: What is something unexpected you’ve discovered/learned/experienced since you began commuting via this mode?

Jeff: I occasionally think deeply while staring out the window.  I don’t know why, but some of my best creative brainstorming and reflection happens on the bus.


CYWB: Tell us a bit about yourself—do you have any fun hobbies?

Jeff: I love learning new things, so I’m always reading.  Currently, I’m learning programming and building projects in my spare time.  Besides that, I enjoy being outdoors riding my road bike and running trails.


Special thanks Jeff for sharing his commute with us! We hope his experience can serve as inspiration for others to try out your own alternative mode of transit – why not start with the bus!

Would you like to be the Choose Your Way Bellevue Mover of the Month? Log at least eight non-drive-alone trips on your RideshareOnline calendar and you’ll automatically be entered into the drawing for next month – as well as our 25 win $25 drawing – and be eligible for “Perks” local business discounts! Learn more at www.ChooseYourWayBellevue.org/Rewards.

Share a Picture of your Bike Trip and Be Rewarded!

Posted on January 25, 2019

Cloudy weather with a side of Seattle Squeeze got you down? Choose Your Way Bellevue wants to perk you up! A lot of bike goodness happened in Bellevue in 2018 and we want to keep that momentum rolling in the new year. So with that in mind we’re giving away backpacks, bike lights, bells, and winter bike socks and all you have to do is send us a selfie so we can share your smile on social media!

Interested? Here are three easy steps that will score you some free swag:

Step 1: Pull your bike out of winter hibernation or find the nearest Bikeshare Bike, and then go for a ride in Bellevue!

Step 2: Enjoy your fast, easy, convenient bike ride and snap a selfie with your bike, or the view from your handlebars (while not in motion of course!), within the Bellevue city limits! Or better yet, grab a friend to play photog and go for a ride with you!

Step 3: Email us your photo (info@cywb.org) and provide us with your mailing address. Just for taking a ride and sharing your photo, we’ll send you a fancy, limited edition Choose Your Way Bellevue backpack stuffed with goodies inside, like bike lights, a bell and winter socks. (While supplies last. Let us know if you don’t want us to post your photo publicly.)

The Fine Print:
We only have a limited number of goodies, so this promotion is first-come, first-served limited to Bellevue riders. One reward per rider. Photos must be taken within the City of Bellevue. 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.

Update: here’s a pic of some of the goodies you’ll get:

Choose Your Way Bellevue and King County Metro WorkSmart Present a Free Telecommute Programs Workshop Telecommute – 2/6/19

Posted on January 17, 2019

Telecommuting can help improve company productivity and enhance employee recruitment while decreasing overhead costs.

At this workshop, you’ll learn about how to implement an effective telecommute program that benefits your business’s bottom line and improves work/life balance.

This event will be hosted at Lincoln Square South (500 Bellevue Way NE) and a complimentary lunch will be provided.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Complimentary Lunch: 11:30 a.m. – Noon
Program: Noon – 1 p.m.

Lincoln Square North
Collaboration Center
500 Bellevue Way
Suite 253
Bellevue, WA 98004

RSVP for Free Here by 2/4

The Collaboration Center is located on the Southeast corner, on the 2nd floor, of Lincoln Square South:

• From the LSS parking garage, take the elevator to level 2
• Head South through the Food Hall toward the South Tower elevators
• Once through the South Tower elevator lobby, make a left at the Property Management Office. The Collaboration Center entrance is located at the end of the hall, Suite 253

Visitor parking onsite will be validated at Nordstrom Rack or any restaurant for up to three hours. For questions, please email info@cywb.org.

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