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Transit Update: June 2020

Posted on June 23, 2020

Times are constantly changing, so it’s important to keep up to date with all things transit. Luckily, Choose Your Way Bellevue provides free resources making it easier for Bellevue travelers to choose non-drive-alone options and navigate those options as travel habits evolve. One of those resources is transit information, including this blog post. Let’s take a look at what’s changing in the coming weeks.


King County Metro – Restoring Transit Service

When – June 22


KCM June 22 Service Updates

 

From Metro: With stabilized workforce levels and the state’s “Safe Start” plan moving forward, King County Metro will restore service on dozens of bus routes, increase water taxi service, and partially restore Via to Transit, a service available in southeast Seattle and Tukwila, on Monday, June 22.

The move fully restores 23 bus routes that were canceled in March and April and adds trips to other routes. A few recently canceled peak commuter routes will be restored, while other routes will remain suspended due to financial constraints and lower anticipated ridership. Read more about it here.

 

Sound Transit – Flat Fare for Transit Riders

When – July 1

ST Logo

From Sound Transit: Sound Transit is planning a July 1 resumption of fares on ST Express bus routes that have returned to front-door boarding with the installation of health barriers and other protections for operator safety.

In addition, a new system-wide flat fare will align with other regional agencies, irrespective of trip distances. Sound Transit will implement a flat adult fare of $3.25 on all ST Express bus routes when fare collection resumes. 

The new fare structure eliminates the previous two-zone fare system in favor of one simple fare throughout the ST Express service area. For trips in King County, the result will be a 50-cent increase per trip. Read more about it here.

With these upcoming changes in mind, it’s important to prepare for how this will impact your commuting. Need help planning? Fill out this form to request a custom commute plan from Choose Your Way Bellevue!

 

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Alex
 

 

 

Biking (Back) to Work

Posted on June 19, 2020

How to flip the switch and improve your routine by biking to work.

 
The pandemic has certainly hit us hard, but one positive note is that more people in Bellevue are improving their health and well-being by getting around on two wheels, as noted in our previous blog post. We hope this trend will continue as businesses increasingly open their doors and more workers return to the office. Here are some simple steps you can take to make biking to work a reality:


      1.    Dust off your bike

  • If you’re not a regular bike rider, it may have been a while since you went for your last ride. Now is the time change that! Grab your bike out of storage and get it in good working condition. Make sure you have good tire pressure and a solid helmet. If you are in need of extra help before heading out on your first bike adventure in a while, here are a few resources you can check out:

     2.    Go for a trial ride

  • With your bike in proper working condition and your helmet ready, get outside and try out your wheels. Take a ride around your neighborhood, go to a local bike trail, call up your friends or get your family together and do a group ride! There are plenty of ways to get back in the hang of it.

     3.    Get into the routine

  • There are a few ways to do this. One is to test your biking route to work in advance - see what routes you need to take and what the fastest way will be. Get familiar with the streets, turns, intersections, you name it! Another is to embark on challenges. Participate in the Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards program, log multiple days’ worth of bike trips and you could receive Choose Your Way Bellevue merchandise, a $50 reward and more. Creating and implementing a habit can take time, so it’s important to develop a routine and get out on your bike regularly.

     4.    Bike back to work

  • Finally, when the office reopens (or right now if your office is already open), you can use everything you’ve learned and your awesome new biking habits to take your two wheels to work. You can even take that extra step and try to get your coworkers in on the action too. Remember that bike commuting doesn’t need to be an all-or-nothing endeavor. Try biking one day per week, or combine biking with transit.

 

We hope these help you to choose your bike on some days. By not driving alone you can help reduce strain on our roadways as offices and businesses open back up. Until next time, stay safe and stay active!

 

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Alex

 

 

Choose Your Way Bellevue Summer Rewards

Posted on June 15, 2020

Bike month is here, and with it, awesome reward opportunities at Choose Your Way Bellevue. Below are the following rewards you can get started on right now! (If you haven’t already):

  • Stay Active for Summer Incentive
    • As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, we want to encourage you to get out on two wheels, walk and keep up the safe, social distancing while working remotely! Walk, bike or telework to or from a Bellevue location on at least eight days through June 30, 2020 and submit your request for a Choose Your Way Bellevue merchandise package. That is all you need to do to receive a guaranteed reward! Reward packages include a branded backpack, tumbler + wist pack or cycling cap + bike bell.
  • Choose Your Way BINGO - Bike Edition
    • What better way to celebrate Bike Month than by challenging yourself to a very active form of bingo? We’ve put together a fun, interactive bingo board to help you get out on your trusty two wheels this June. Download or print out the board, get a bingo, share and send to info@cywb.org and you’ll automatically be entered for a chance to win a Choose Your Way Bellevue branded backpack with branded goodies inside!
  • Social Media Campaign
    • Share your bike trip during bike month and be entered to win a sweet reward! From now until June 30, 2020, post a video or photo of yourself from or with your bike (no photos taken while riding please!) with the hashtag #ibikebellevue or tagging @ChooseUrWayBell on Twitter for a chance to win a Choose Your Way Bellevue branded backpack with branded goodies inside! One lucky winner will be chosen at random to receive this reward.

The Merch

Backpacks
Backpack

  • Offered in two stylish colors, blue or tangerine orange, these Choose Your Way Bellevue-branded backpacks will help you conveniently carry what you need throughout the day, all in one place!

Bike Bells

Bike Bell

  • Want to get some attention while on your sweet ride? Attach one of these bad boys to your handlebar, give it a ring and you’ll be more noticeable in no time.

Cycling Caps

Cycling Cap

  • Designed to provide a few simple functions, these exciting cycling caps are perfect for keeping rain and sweat out of your eyes, shielding your eyes from the sun and last but not least, keep you looking like the real deal.

Waist Packs

Waist Pack

  • Great for keeping small things handy, these waist packs come in two colors – black and yellow.

Tumblers

Tumbler

  • Sturdy, robust and slick, fill up this trusty container with your favorite beverage to keep it safe, secure and at your preferred temperature.

Now that you’re informed on the current incentives for Choose Your Way Bellevue, make sure to hop on these opportunities and reap some awesome rewards while having fun commuting safely in the process. Get pedaling!

 

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Alex

 

 

Bellevue Bike Riding Numbers During COVID-19

Posted on June 1, 2020

Times are certainly different, and from my personal perspective looking out of my bedroom window, I feel that more people are out biking, walking and recreating now – during the state Stay Home, Stay Healthy order – than ever before. 

The anecdote holds true for Bellevue – at least for the month of April, according to City of Bellevue Traffic Management Interim Assistant Director Chris Long. When asked how this year’s bike ridership numbers compare to last year’s, he shared that “On our regional connections, we saw a significant increase in April fueled by great weather and a desire to get outside during the first full month of quarantine.”  

The two graphs show bike ridership over the last three years. The green line (2020) out-rides the prior two years on both the north section of Eastrail and the I-90 Trail during the month of April. It should be noted that bike volumes during the month of May traditionally show a surge of bicycle activity, possibly due to the statewide Bike Everywhere Month and weather improvement. This year, bike volumes for May are still higher than normal, but they decreased from April. (Typically, May see a significant jump in volume, but that jump came a month early.)

EASTRAIL TRENDS

Eastrail

I-90 TRAIL TRENDS

I-90

Around the rest of the city, there is not enough historic data to show a reliable pattern. However, in two key corridors, West Lake Sammamish Parkway and 118th Avenue Southeast just south of Southeast 8th Street, bike numbers are in keeping with numbers from August 2019 – one of the warmest weather months of the year. 

More from Chris Long: “Despite very few people commuting, our biking numbers have remained consistent throughout the city, which we believe reflects a desire to get outside and social distance from a bike. Walking also seems to be very popular especially to and from our parks. This discovery has led to us creating “Healthy Streets” in Bellevue to provide more space for residents to social distance while walking, riding or rolling to and from our parks.” You can read more about the Healthy Streets initiative on the city website.

We hope to see the green line grow! While it will look different than any year before it, we hope that Bike Everywhere Month during June 1- 30 will encourage even more folks to get out to enjoy the fresh air on two wheels and move around town responsibly. More information about biking in Bellevue and how Bellevue is celebrating Bike Month can be found on the Choose Your Way Bellevue bike page

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Augusta 
 

 

Bike Month 2020: How Employers can Build a Better Bike Program

Posted on June 1, 2020

June is Bike Month

The COVID-19 era has likely shifted your employee’s day-to-day routines and work style. Employees across the city and the world have had to adopt brand new behaviors and habits from working remotely to communicating with team members on new platforms. With this disruption, employees and employers have both shown adaptability. With Bike Month in Washington State shifted to June and days away, and businesses considering future commuting back to the office, now is a great time to encourage your employees to get out and go for a ride – and for employers to consider how more employees can make this option work well as a viable, sustainable commute option.

Shape your Bike Program:

Are you looking to make your workplace more bike-friendly but don’t know where to start? Consider implementing the following elements in your workplace.

  • Secure bike parking
    • Employees need to know their bicycles are safe while they work; consider talking with building management about bike access to your building and secure parking.
  • Provide Showers and Changing Facilities
    • Some employees will not consider bicycling to work without the convenience of showering upon arrival. As an added benefit it makes your office smell better too!  
  • Bike subsidy (Parking Cash-Out)
    •  Employees who bike, walk, or take transit often have a parking spot they do not use. In lieu of parking, consider financially incentivizing employees who don’t use an allotted parking spot.
  • Evaluate your bike culture
    • Consider your dress code appropriately; is it inclusive of active transportation modes?
  • Additionally, here is the Choose Your Way Bellevue Toolkit; a great resource for enhancing or starting your commute program.

Share with your Employees:

Lean on bike content already out there to encourage your employees to bike! Some ideas (and examples) to consider are:

Your employees’ well-being and mental health affects your bottom line. A 2015 study conducted by the University of Cambridge, VitalityHealth and RAND Europe found that employees who cycle have lower rates of depression and obesity, higher life satisfaction scores and take significantly fewer sick days than their non-cycling coworkers. The report ultimately concluded that cycle-to-work programs have the potential to significantly impact the productivity of a business's workforce.

In the COVID-19 era, biking is the new going out. With more and more people on two wheels, this is a great time to engage your employees, encourage a healthy, active transportation option and blaze new trails with enhancing your bike commute program.

 

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Travis

 

 

June 2020: Bike Month in Bellevue

Posted on May 21, 2020

While National Bike Month has traditionally taken place in May, Bellevue will celebrate in June this year, a shift that is concurrent with Cascade’s Bike Everywhere Month. With the days getting longer and with June 1st just around the corner, here is a quick summary of ways to celebrate Bike Month this June and take in the beautiful Spring weather this year:

Bellevue Biking 3

 

1.    Log your bike trips on Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards & earn branded merchandise!

As part of our ongoing program, Choose Your Way Bellevue offers both ongoing and episodic reward programs. Through June 30, Bellevue workers and residents can log bike, walk and telework trips to or from a Bellevue location on at least eight days and submit your request to be eligible for a Choose Your Way Bellevue merchandise package. Reward packages include a branded Backpack, Tumbler + Waist Pack or Cycling Cap + Bike Bell. Ready to go? 

 

2.    Get Prepared: Request your 2020 Bellevue Bike Map 

The 2020 bike map update features updated citywide and detail maps, safety tips, helmet fitting tips, updated tools and resources and a frequent transit service map. Download the map or request a hard copy via mail by calling 425-452-6856 or emailing TRReception@bellevuewa.gov.

3.    Take the F5 Bike Everywhere Challenge

Put on by Washington Bikes, the goal of the challenge is to support, encourage, and celebrate bicycling! Set personal goals, compete with friends or co-workers, or just ride for mental and physical health and earn points and prizes. Remember to ride responsibly and encourage fellow riders to do the same! This year, the challenge host, Washington Bikes has moved to a new platform, RideShark. This new tool will allow you to connect with your apps/devices like Strava, Fitbit, Garmin, and more. RideShark also gives you the ability to track other active transportation trips, including walking and transit! 

You are still eligible to log your trips in both Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards and the Bike Everywhere Challenge. You’ll just need to log trips in both places. More trips logged = More opportunities to earn rewards and prizes. 

 

4.    Get Social 

Want to earn some sweet rewards for celebrating bike month? Now you can! From now until June 30, 2020, post a video or photo of yourself celebrating bike month with the hashtag #ibikebellevue or tagging @ChooseUrWayBell on Twitter for a chance to win a Choose Your Way Bellevue branded backpack with branded goodies inside!

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 

 

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Augusta
 

 

 

How To Stay Mentally and Physically Active During the Pandemic

Posted on May 13, 2020

Bellevue Biking

 

Stay-at-home orders, park closures and reduced transit service all make it more difficult to get out and about – many of us are working from home and our normal routines are not the same. We’ve heard from many Bellevue commuters that working from home sometimes leads to long sitting sessions with little movement. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite tips for staying active in Bellevue during the pandemic: 

 

Staying Physically Active

1.    Teleworking out

  • Don’t let gym closures keep you from getting your exercise. You can still walk or run outside. Getting out in the morning or for lunch can set an energetic tone for the rest of day Or, set up a designated workout space in your home and invest in free weights to get in the habit of working out every day. Need a little more motivation? Call up a friend and do a virtual exercise together!

2.    Parks

  • Washington state parks are slowly reopening for day-use as of May 5. If you want a change of scenery from your urban walks, take a look at this list of Washington state parks that might be in your area. You can also still go to local parks like Bellevue Downtown Park, which are open to the public for walking and activities that do not require close proximity. As a reminder, use this National Recreation and Park Association webpage on physical distancing in public parks and trails.

3.    Biking

  • With reduced traffic and reduced transit schedules, biking is not only a great way to get from point A to point B, it’s a great way to get out. Bike trails in Bellevue remain open, as long as social distancing is in place. You can also Start a virtual bike club with your friends and log all of your non-drive-alone travel on our site to be eligible for Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards!
  • You can also check out the new 2020 Bellevue Bike Map, which features updated citywide and detail maps, safety tips, helmet fitting tips, tools and resources. Want a physical copy? Call the City of Bellevue Transportation Department at 425-452-6856 or email at TRReception@bellevuewa.gov to request one.

 

Staying Mentally Active

4.    Virtual Hangouts

  • Not only is staying physically active important, but so is staying mentally active. Get together over Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet or Skype and play games, have a happy hour or just catch up. All are great for companionship!

5.    Meditation

  • If you’re able to find a nice, quiet space in your home, set up time for yourself to mediate and relax. Giving the mind time to calm down and destress is especially helpful during this time.

6.    Reading

  • Being stuck inside during the day has its perks, one of which is more time to pick up that book you’ve always wanted to read!

 

These are just a few ways to stay active during the pandemic – until next time, stay safe and keep up the great work!


-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Alex

 

Navigating COVID-19 – Transit is Still Critical

Posted on April 30, 2020

Editor's note: The following information is compiled from King County Metro sources.

As the world continues to adapt to the many life changes of the COVID-19 pandemic, for many, that means essential travel still relies on public transit.

Bellevue Transit Center

 

If you must travel, transit may still be a viable option for you, despite reduced schedules. Here are a few things to be mindful of when using transit:

  • Check canceled trips before you go – Under the reduced schedule currently in place, the routes listed on this Metro page will continue to operate; however, some individual trips have been canceled. Use the drop-down menus to see which trips have been canceled for each route. 
  • Passenger limits – To support the health of passengers, drivers, and community members, King County Metro has instituted new passenger limits to promote social distancing. The optimal number of passengers is twelve on a 40-foot bus and eighteen on a 60-foot bus. 
  • Wear a mask – Responding to evolving guidance from public health officials and the feedback of drivers and other frontline employees, King County Metro strongly urges all customers to wear a mask or face covering while using public transportation. 

Check this up-to-date reduced schedule Metro page to see which routes are still running. Transit is still an important way for individuals to get where they need to go, especially essential workers.  

Sound Transit has also temporarily suspended fares and reduced their service. Read more at the Sound Transit website

Thank you for taking these regulations seriously. Stay safe, maintain six feet from others and continuously wash your hands. Happy commuting!

 

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Alex

 

Five Reasons Why Biking Now is Better

Posted on April 23, 2020

Bellevue Biker

 

As the pandemic continues to affect the world, here are a few positive reasons why getting out and about on your trusty wheels is better now than ever before!


1.    Societal disruption

  • Changing your routine can be easier during times of disruption, and may take time to stick. Since it usually takes more than two months before a new way of doing things becomes automatic, now is as good a time as any to get (back) into biking, especially with spring and summer rolling around!

2.    A captive audience

  • We’re all looking for new ways to engage virtually, and biking can make that happen. Start a virtual bike club with your friends and log your trips through Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards!

3.    Biking is the new “going out”

  • Bars, sporting events, gyms and more are all closed for the time being. Riding your bike is one of the only ways to get out these days, so why not try biking your commute route to see what would work best for you when work from the office starts up again? Or, take your kids out for a family ride.

4.    Less traffic

  • According to this article, the Seattle metro area has experienced the third-largest traffic drop in the nation amid the stay-at-home order. With emptier roadways, it’s a great time to dust off your bike or ride it more often!

5.    Bikes in lieu of transit

 

You can also check out the new 2020 Bellevue Bike Map, which features updated citywide and detail maps, safety tips, helmet fitting tips, tools and resources. Want a physical copy? Call the City of Bellevue Transportation Department at 425-452-6856 to request one.
Take these points into consideration when exploring ways to get outside during these times. Until next time, stay safe, wash your hands and keep your distance (at least six feet) from each other!

 

Update: From now until June 30, earn merchandise just by logging your walking, biking and telework trips! Learn more.

 

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Alex
 

Four Ways to Celebrate Earth Day During These Times

Posted on April 15, 2020

Earth Day

 

This year, Earth Day may be celebrated differently than in the past - but that doesn't mean it can't be just as meaningful! Here are a few ways you can celebrate our planet during the COVID-19 pandemic:

1. Conserve Water

  • There's nothing quite like reducing your water usage to show your appreciation for the planet. Doing things like taking shorter showers and turning off the faucet while washing your hands and brushing your teeth can make a difference.

2. Recycle

  • Instead of throwing that dirty plastic peanut butter jar in the garbage, take the extra time to clean it out and put it in the recycle bin. Recycling paper and plastics are a great way to help the environment.

3. Choose and support sustainable food options

  • Fast food and processed meats contribute to pollution and hurt our environment. Choosing a replacement meal that is eco-friendly is a great way to celebrate Earth Day, and there are a multitude of great vegetarian and vegan restaurants and meals out there providing takeout options! This is also a great opportunity to find a new recipe to try and cook in your kitchen!

4. Last but not least: Leave your Car in the "Parked" and "Off" Position

  • According to the New York Times, one of the most effective ways to being thinking about how to reduce your carbon footprint is to reconsider how much, and how often, you travel. By not driving, you'll be helping to reduce the massive amounts of CO2 being poured into the atmosphere every day. Taking a walk in your neighborhood while practicing social distancing is a great way to get out.

 

I hope this is a helpful list to kick-start your Earth Day celebrations. Remember to stay safe, wash your hands, limit travel and stay home during these times!

 

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Alex

 

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