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New ORCA System – Need to Knows

Posted on May 20, 2022

With the launch of the new ORCA system, it’s important to know what has changed and what has stayed the same. Here are some tips to make the transition as easy as possible!

neworca

Image from myORCA.com 

 

What You Need to Know (From King County Metro):

  • You do not need a new card. All cards will work indefinitely (Adult, Youth, Senior, Disabled, LIFT and other reduced fare cards) 
  • A new smart phone app is available to download, through Apple’s app store or the Google Play store.
  • All existing ORCA card value, E-purse balance or passes have been retained 
  • You can load E-purse value or passes instantly at myORCA.com, with the myORCA app, at a vending machine, or by calling or visiting customer service 
  • Retail stores will only load E-purse value and no longer sell passes. You can convert E-purse value to a pass at myORCA.com, with the mobile app, at vending machines or by visiting customer service 
  • While technology is updated, all value loaded at a retail store location will experience a one-hour delay before it is available for use
  • All customers who had an account at orcacard.com will need to set up a new account at myORCA.com or with the myORCA app, We encourage all riders to set up an account, but it is not required to use ORCA 
  • All ORCA Autoloads have expired. Set-up your Autoload again at myORCA.com 
  • Check out the ORCA Business Account FAQs for information on how Business accounts will be handled moving forward

You can check out the new myORCA.com website and Metros’ blog post for more details!

-Choose Your Way staffer Alex
 

 

May is Bike Month

Posted on May 9, 2022

 

Happy Bike Month! We are very excited to be hosting 3 celebration stations on May 20th, Bike Everywhere Day. Each station will offer its very own style of sustenance, treats, swag & prizes, so be sure to visit as many as possible!

 
Choose Your Way Bellevue will host three stations in or near Bellevue at 6 a.m.–9 a.m.: 

  • Evergreen Point at the 520 Trail in Medina
  • Bellevue Transit Center at NE 6th Street between 108th and 110th Avenues NE
  • The I-90 Trail at Enatai Beach Park

For those of you with a competitive streak, grab up to ten of your coworkers and friends for the Washington Bikes/Cascade Bicycle Club BIKE EVERYWHERE CHALLENGE – there’s fun to be had and prizes to be won! Cascade Bicycle Club has an organization toolkit and Team Captain Toolkit to help you get started.

If you have any questions about Bike Everywhere Month & Day, or a non-drive alone commute? Contact Alison Crosier, City of Bellevue CTR Program Administrator, at acrosier@bellevuewa.gov or 425-452-4318. Also be sure to peruse the Choose Your Way Bellevue website and check out our bike page too! 

 

Choose Your Way Bellevue Staffer- Travis
 

Earth Day - A Look at Commute Options

Posted on April 19, 2022

Earth Day 2022

 

Transportation is the largest source of carbon emissions in the United States. (Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency - USEPA). The gasoline-powered automobile is the single greatest polluter worldwide, because emissions from millions of vehicles on the road add up. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, individuals can use cleaner modes of transportation to get around, from public transit to biking and walking and car or vanpools.

 

DRIVING: Transportation relies heavily on petroleum, and passenger cars and light-duty trucks (i.e. sport vehicles, pickup trucks and minivans) contribute half of the carbon dioxide emissions from the U.S. transportation sector. Burning one gallon of gasoline creates about 20 pounds of CO2—which means the average vehicle creates roughly six to nine tons of CO2 each year. (Source: United States Department of Transportation – USDOT). Even zero emission vehicles (ZEV’s) can leave an environmental footprint via electricity over usage and add to local traffic congestion & parking crunches.

ECO-DRIVING: Pre-planning/bundling your trips can play a huge role in lessening emissions and save money in a gasoline-powered car. Try bundling-up your errands into one trip!  

CAR SHARING & CARPOOLING: Need to get around town but don’t really need a car all the time? Car sharing programs provide access to a car when you need one. Membership fees cover gas, maintenance and insurance. Many companies – such as Flexcar and ZipCar – offer low emission or hybrid cars too! Car sharing can help reduce the number of cars manufactured and driven, which saves natural resources and energy – and can also reduce land needed for parking as well as traffic congestion. Carpooling is another friendly way to save money, time, frustration, and gasoline. If daily commuters carpooled 20 days a month, it would reduce driving costs by 40-50 percent. (Source: United States Department of Transportation – USDOT).

TRANSIT: Individuals can save more than $10,000 per year by taking public transportation instead of driving. Moreover, this mode can lead to substantial environmental benefits. If your commute is 20-miles round trip, the switch to public transportation could lower your carbon footprint by 4,800 pounds annually. Communities with strong public transportation can reduce the nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons yearly. (Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency - USEPA).

CYCLING & WALKING: Bicycling and walking are not just recreational activities; these options help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, traffic congestion and our demand for oil. Additional benefits include reducing other environmental impacts of motorized transportation, such as noise and the destruction of open space, wetlands, and other habitats. For local guidance on bicycle and pedestrian trails check out our Bellevue bike map. Your local bike shop is also an excellent resource for information on bicycle commuting and the latest bike gadgets and safety tools.

TELECOMMUTING: The best commute is no commute! Check with your employer about their remote/virtual work policy. If it currently doesn’t offer an option to telework, speak with the human resources staff at your workplace to consider implementing one. Even working one day a week remotely helps the environment & saves you money among other myriad ecological & personal benefits!

-Choose Your Way staffer Alison
 

 

What you can do about gas prices

Posted on March 31, 2022

Gas prices have reached record levels nation and worldwide, and Bellevue is no exception. Don’t let the pressure at the pump keep you from getting where you need to be! There are myriad money-saving ideas and non-drive-alone opportunities available to folks who live or work in Bellevue, including the following:

Skip driving alone when possible by taking advantage of these suggestions:

  • Join a friend or coworker and carpool to work so you can split the cost of driving and parking. There are hundreds of active carpool participants coming into Bellevue every day. Carpool and ridematch information is on our Share the Ride page.
  • Carshare can help you get around during the day when you don’t have a car at your workplace; check out our Carshare section to learn more about Zipcar in Bellevue.
  • Join a vanpool. There are a multitude of benefits to vanpooling to work, including pre-paid gas, insurance and vehicle maintenance, as well as avoiding road tolls. Even during these times there are 90 active vanpools operating in and out of Bellevue. Learn more about vanpooling (and about vansharing, for getting to or from a transit hub) on our Share the Ride page.
  • Take transit. Approximately 36 bus routes operate in Bellevue. Check out our transit page for schedules and tools to plan a specific route!
  • Get your exercise in and walk or bike to your destination. Downtown Bellevue boasts an enviable Walk Score of 94 out of 100. View our walk and bike pages to learn more.
  • Is your job a fit for telework? Telework and hybrid work options have become a standard practice for a significant proportion of companies in the United States and through the world, having increased significantly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. If your employer does not yet offer a remote work opportunity, direct them to our Choose Your Way Bellevue business telework section linking to city- and county-provided information, tips, sample agreements, checklists, and even webinar recordings!

When you do drive, ensure your vehicle is at its best mechanically:

  • Check your tire pressure. Fluctuating temperatures can cause your tires to lose air more quickly and make your car exert more gas.
  • Ditch the remote start. Getting into a toasty car is nice, but letting it run is a waste of gas and money.
  • Drive the speed limit. Use cruise control to help keep your speed consistent and save energy.
  • Create a gas-saving, smart route for your trips and errands.

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Alison

How the March Service Change Will Affect Bellevue Routes

Posted on March 17, 2022

BLine

 

With the March Service Change right around the corner, you’re probably wondering how bus routes running through and out of Bellevue will be different? Here’s a quick breakdown of what’s coming, starting on March 19.

SOUND TRANSIT ROUTES

  • ST 532
    • Schedule adjustments to reflect current traffic conditions. Frequency reductions due to operator shortages.
  • ST 535
    • Schedule adjustments to reflect current traffic conditions. Frequency reductions due to operator shortages.
  • ST 550
    • On weekdays, service frequency from Bellevue to Seattle will be reduced slightly in mornings between approximately 7:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. Weekday service frequency from Seattle to Bellevue will be slightly reduced in the afternoon and evening, approximately 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. On weekdays, Saturday and Sunday, one additional trip from Seattle to Bellevue will be added at approximately 12:20 a.m.
  • ST 566
    • Minor schedule adjustments to align better with the Sounder S Line schedule.

 

For a full breakdown of the March Service Change, you can check out both King County Metro’s and Sound Transit’s pages on the matter.


- Choose Your Way staffer Alex

 

Sources: Sound Transit and King County Metro

 

 

Get Ready to Spring Forward!

Posted on March 8, 2022

spring forward

 

Daylight savings is right around the corner. We will all unfortunately be losing an hour of sleep on Saturday night, but there are A LOT of great things to follow and prepare for when we turn the clocks forward. Here are some things to keep in mind:

 

  • The mornings are darker, and colder
    • To ensure you are seen while walking or biking, wear reflective material, use a bike light, etc. Mornings will be colder as well, so make sure to bundle up before your travels!
  • The nights are longer
    • Opposite to the statement above, with more light in the evening, why not take that scenic route on your way home?
  • Prioritize your sleep
    • Make sure to change your clocks and go to bed an hour earlier on Sunday night so you can start your work week strong.
  • Log Your Trips
    • Don’t forget to log your trips and participate in our “Return-to-Travel” incentive program! You can earn gift cards to Spotify, Hulu, REI and more. Learn all about it here.

 

These are just a few ways to help you adjust to when daylight savings hits--remember to mark your calendars for Sunday, March 13!

 

-Choose Your Way staffer Alex
 

 

Return-to-Travel Rewards!

Posted on January 12, 2022

RTT

 

To be ready for increased travel as 2022 continues, Choose Your Way Bellevue has a new campaign to help and encourage travelers to get to and from work, shopping or other destination using a non-drive-alone mode (not including telework or compressed work week). Hop on your favorite bus route, walk, bike, carpool, or start up or join a vanpool and start logging your trips towards three distinct rewards!

The new rewards are as follows:

  • Get Back on the Move - Log 25 days of using the non-drive-alone modes described above in Bellevue and you’ll receive a $50 gift card (Spotify denomination is $60). One reward per participant. 
  • Stay on the Move - Log eight days of non-drive-alone travel by the modes described above in Bellevue within a calendar month to automatically be entered into a drawing to receive one of two $25 gift cards (Spotify denomination is $30)! You can help keep everyone moving better and get a chance to win to boot!
  • Super Traveler - Do you have what it takes to be Bellevue’s Super Traveler? Log 50 days of non-drive-alone travel in Bellevue by the modes described above within each three-month period starting in November 2021, and CYWB staff will invite you to submit a 150-word story of substance describing your non-drive-alone travel experience in Bellevue. Stories may be shared through Choose Your Way Bellevue communications with the option of anonymity. For each three-month period, those whose substantive stories are received and confirmed by CYWB staff will be entered into a single drawing for a chance to win a pair of Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 (or equivalent gift card). This reward is an approximate $500 value.

You must live or work in Bellevue to be eligible. Offer valid while supplies last. For more information about the Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards Program, or to sign up check out our rewards page. Now get logging!

 

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Alex

 

 

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