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Seattle Squeeze Help for Bellevueites

It is common knowledge around the Puget Sound region that the shutdown of Highway 99 in downtown Seattle impacted our travel. But you may not know that traffic challenges are expected to continue for the next five years as crews tackle other transportation projects that will affect commuters.

To help workers, residents and students get to and from Bellevue, now and in the future, Choose Your Way Bellevue has added this web page to help Bellevueites learn how to get around during the ongoing Squeeze pain! Read on for everything you need to know as a Bellevue worker or resident to make your travel smoother.

Latest news on the Squeeze

  • Is your bus route changing on March 23? On that date fifteen bus routes will be changing which streets they use; all buses will move out of the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, which will be open to light rail only. It’s time to plan and prepare. Learn more at Seattle Department of Transportation’s website.
  • Additional construction projects over the next five years will be affecting our travel.* Bookmark this page for updates on the latest happenings with the Squeeze with a Bellevue bent!
  • Remember, there is a purpose to all this construction! Look forward to a reimagined Seattle waterfront, new light rail lines—including East Link in Bellevue, launching in 2023—as well as a revamped Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle and other improvements.

How Bellevueites will be impacted

  • The new Highway 99 tunnel has been open since early February, causing travel patterns to shift due to fewer access points to and from downtown Seattle as compared to the viaduct. Many Bellevue commuters travel to or come from Seattle and affected by Highway 99 changes and other upcoming public and private construction projects that will be impacting Seattle.
  • The March 23 bus route changes include Sound Transit Express Route 550 shifting from the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel to surface streets to accommodate the Washington State Convention Center construction and future Link light rail expansion. This route 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.
  • Sound Transit's 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.
  • Other March service changes may impact Bellevue riders; read more about King County Metro and Sound Transit.
  • East Link light rail and surrounding construction is occurring in Bellevue over the next several years. The city’s Access Bellevue initiative keeps the public informed about construction impacts. Find more information about Bellevue construction and sign up for alerts on the City of Bellevue website.

What you can do

Check out the Choose Your Way Bellevue travel mode links above for how-to information on riding the bus, carpooling, vanpooling, walking, biking and telework. Every trip not taken by driving alone helps make more efficient use of the limited roadway capacity during the Squeeze.

How Choose Your Way Bellevue can help you do that

  • Fill out a Commute Assistance Request form and we can provide you free, customized assistance to help you try out a mode other than solo driving!
  • Find out about King County Metro rewards and incentives to help you start or join vanpool! Check out our step-by-step infographic to help you find a carpool or vanpool ridematch.
  • Log your trips and get rewarded! Get started on our Rewards page. King County Metro’s Just One Trip program provides additional rewards for getting your vehicle off the road!
  • Here’s a new solution: day-to-day carpooling, no permanent ridematch required, through Scoop or Waze Carpool. King County is piloting these services with a discounted rate! Scroll to “Find your Match” on the King County Metro website.
  • Get rewarded for biking in Bellevue! Share a photo and receive a Choose Your Way Bellevue backpack with biking goodies. Learn more here.
  • Coming soon: Stay tuned for a future Choose Your Way Bellevue discount on bike share in Bellevue!

Keep informed by signing up for our monthly newsletter. And don’t forget to also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; or drop us a note at that we can post in order to share ideas with others for how to beat the Squeeze!

*Upcoming Seattle transportation construction impacts include buses moving out of the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, impacting Bellevue route 550; Downtown Seattle Convention Center construction; East Link Construction impacts in Seattle, Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond; and Highway SR 520 “Rest of the West” construction including a redesigned interchange at Montlake Boulevard.

Page updated: 3/20/19