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Biking in the Cold

Posted on November 17, 2022

As it continues to get colder, we'll continue giving you tips on ways you can commute! This week we are giving you some tips as you ride your bike this coming fall and winter.

 

Winter is here, and with it comes changing weather that can affect many aspects of your daily bike route. Rain makes roads slick and impacts visibility; 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. Check out this Seattle Bike Blog post for some helpful advice on biking in the snow.

What to do: There are several ways to bike smarter and safer in the winter weather. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Reflective gear – Wearing reflective jackets, pants, tires, etc., is on the best ways to help people driving see you biking at night, no matter how dark the days get!
  • Bike lights – Attaching bike lights to your handlebars and helmets can improve your visibility! By law, bikes must have a steady white light on front (flashing white lights are prohibited) and red reflector on back when being used at night. Steady or red rear lights can also be used in addition to the reflector.
  • Planning your route is a great way to prepare for and make the most out of your commute. Check out Choose Your Way Bellevue's bike map, which features citywide and detail maps, safety tips, helmet fitting tips, updated tools, resources and a frequent transit service map – remember, buses are equipped with racks for three bikes.
  • Other rain-ready gear – Wearing a raincoat (and lots of layers) and using a bike seat cover are great ways to stay as dry as possible when biking in the rain. Check out this classic Seattle Bike Blog post for gear ideas.

Now that you've got some handy tips for commuting in the cold and rain, you're more prepared to get around on your bike!

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Jake

 

Ridesharing in the Cold

Posted on October 24, 2022

With Fall officially kicked off, the leaves and temperature are starting to fall. What better time than now to dive into ways you can commute in the cold? This blog will be about how you can rideshare in the cold! 

 

 

Tips for the winter: Being on the road as it rains and gets colder can be difficult. Here are some tips for drivers of carpools and vanpools for when roadways are affected by winter or rainy conditions:

  • Drive slowly
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly
  • Increase your following distance to five or six seconds
  • Give yourself more time and space to stop
  • Have essentials packed in case of snow
  • Be wary of travelers who are harder to see on the roads at night
    • This could include individuals walking and biking
  • Remember that four-wheel and all-wheel vehicles do not stop or steer better on ice
  • Do not use cruise control

How to get started: Choose Your Way Bellevue has the resources you need for starting and/or joining a carpool or vanpool. You can go here to get started. You can also check out this infographic to understand how to find a ridematch through Choose Your Way Bellevue's RideshareOnline portal.

 

CARPOOL

  • Traditional Carpooling - Ever notice the same cars next you on your commutes? There's a good chance someone near you shares a similar commute. Find them by setting up a free account within our Choose Your Way Bellevue portal to the RideshareOnline regional ridematching service. Or, talk to your worksite transportation coordinator; they might also be able to help match you with potential carpool mates.
  • Dynamic Carpooling - Carpool without the commitment of traditional ridematching! Scoop and iCarpool are available in Bellevue and the Seattle area. Many commuters are using dynamic carpooling on a regular basis or as needed on any given day. Learn more at the Choose your Way Bellevue Share the Ride page under "Apps and Technology."

VANPOOL

Vanpool Graphic

  • You, plus two can start a vanpool! 3-15 people decide on a schedule and share an agency-provided van
  • Fuel, maintenance, insurance, tolls, and some emergency rides home are all covered
  • Pay a shared monthly fare for the van, determined by the length of your trip, number of people in the van and number of commutes per week. Many employers fully or partially subsidize the fare.
  • To start or join a vanpool, find a ridematch by setting up a free account within our Choose Your Way Bellevue portal to the RideshareOnline regional ridematching service. Learn how to create a ridematch in RideshareOnline with this handy infographic. Or, learn more about vanpooling at King County Metro.
  • Looking to use a King County vanpool for free, for up to three trips? Fill out this form for the Ticket-2-Ride promotion! 

Now that you've been informed on tips for commuting in the cold, you're more prepared to take to the streets in your carpool or vanpool! Don't forget to check out the Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards program to find out what incentives you could win for logging your non-drive-alone trips!

 

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Jake

How the September Service Change Will Affect Bellevue Routes

Posted on September 14, 2022

With the September Service Change right around the corner, you’re probably wondering how bus routes running in Bellevue will be different. Here’s a quick breakdown of what’s coming, starting on Saturday, Sept. 17.

King County Metro Routes in Bellevue

  • 214
    • Frequency reductions to address workforce shortages.
  • 218
    • Frequency reductions to address workforce shortages. Route will add the Eastgate Freeway station stop to the PM (eastbound) trips. 
  • 221
    • Frequency reductions to address workforce shortages.
  • 249
    • Frequency reductions to address workforce shortages. 
  • 250
    • Frequency reductions to address workforce shortages. 
  • 255
    • Frequency reductions to address workforce shortages. 
  • 257
    • Frequency reductions to address workforce shortages. 
  • 271
    • Frequency reductions to address workforce shortages.
  • 311
    • Frequency reductions to address workforce shortages. 

Sound Transit Routes in Bellevue

  • ST 532
    • Updating schedule to reflect current travel times. Frequency reductions to operator shortage.
  • ST 535
    • Updating schedule to reflect current travel times. Frequency reductions due to operator shortage.
  • ST 542
    • Frequency reductions due to workforce shortage.
  • ST 545
    • Frequency reductions to address workforce shortages.
  • ST 550
    • Frequency reductions to address workforce shortages.
  • ST 556
    • Frequency reductions to address workforce shortages. 
  • ST 560
    • Updating schedule to reflect current travel times.
  • ST 566
    • Frequency reductions to address workforce shortages.

For a full breakdown of the September service change check out King County’s and Sound Transit’s pages on the matter.

-Choose Your Way staffer Jake
 

 

Youth Ride Free!

Posted on August 30, 2022

Starting September 1, all youth in Washington will be able to ride transit for free (you read that right)!

orca graphic

Through Move Ahead Washington, riders statewide age 18 and younger can now hop on transit without spending a dime. Local transit agencies are still requesting that these riders tap an ORCA card when riding. Here’s what that entails (From King County Metro):

  • Riders age 13 and older are encouraged to show one  of the following to the driver, if they have it:
    • Youth ORCA Card
      • Please “tap” your card when you board. On Sound Transit light rail, please also “tap” when you exit.
      • If you kept the Youth ORCA card issued by your school during the 2021-22 academic year, it will continue to work through June 30, 2023.
    • Current High School or Middle School Student ID
  • Youth who do not have one of these can still ride for free, without tapping.
  • In 2023 and beyond, youth will be directed to get a Free Youth Transit Pass that allows them to tap a card—or eventually their smartphone—to access transit across the region for free.

For more information, please visit the myorca.com page on youth ride free.

-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Alex

 

Soaking in the Sun This Summer

Posted on August 19, 2022

Summer weather is finally here and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. It’s time to get outside and enjoy the weather! Here are just a few of the many fun things to do outside this summer:

walking
 

  • Trailhead Bus Routes
    • The sun is back and the weather is inviting us back outside! King County Metro offers Trailhead Direct bus routes that will take you directly to Mount Si and a couple more of your favorite nearby on weekends and holidays. These routes stop at Eastgate (Park-and-Ride) Freeway Station in Bellevue and are a great way to stay active this summer!
  • Biking Trails
    •  Want to explore all the wonderful biking trails in Bellevue and beyond? There are plenty of biking trails to check out; check out TrailLink’s webpage to see what’s right for you.
  • Enjoy the Parks
    • There are plenty of parks where you can enjoy the sunny weather in Bellevue. Check out the Bellevue parks page on the city’s website for a list!
  • Check Out a Free Concert While Riding Around Downtown!
    • Find a little rhythm and drown out the blues with Bellevue Beats, the Bellevue Downtown Association’s music series! Spanning July-September, it reignites Downtown's music scene with free concerts in the Heart of Bellevue. 
  • Log Your Trips and Get Rewarded
    • Don’t forget to log all of your non-drive-alone trips in Bellevue through our Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards program! You’ll be eligible to receive free gift cards and more!

These are just a couple of the many things that you can take part in this summer! Let us know of your favorite summer activity in the comments! 

-Choose Your Way staffer Jake
 

 

Earn Rewards by Choosing Alternatives to Solo Driving

Posted on July 21, 2022

As printed in the June 2022 edition of City of Bellevue’s publication It’s Your City

https://bellevuewa.gov/city-government/departments/city-managers-office/communications/its-your-city

As the pandemic recedes and more people head back to traditional offices, they
can save on gas by busing, carpooling and vanpooling, bicycling or walking. Choose
Your Way Bellevue, a city travel options program, has launched a “Return to Travel”
campaign to help.


By logging days of travel by modes other than solo driving at ChooseYourWayBellevue.
org/rewards, Bellevue travelers may be eligible for the following rewards (Telework
days do not count toward rewards).

  • Get Back on the Move: Log 25 days to receive a $50 reward (limit one per participant).
  • Stay on the Move: Log eight days in a calendar month to be entered into a drawing for a $25 reward (two recipients will be selected).
  • Super Traveler: Log 50 days of non-drive-alone travel in Bellevue in a three-month period and submit a 150-word story describing your experience. Stories will be entered in a drawing for a pair of Bose noise cancelling headphones 700, with charging case (or an equivalent gift card), a value of approximately $500.

Unless otherwise noted, reward options include Hulu or Spotify gift cards to enhance
the bus experience; REI gift cards to help with active transportation (biking or walking);
gas cards to help with carpooling; ORCA cards; and vanpool fares. Offers are valid
while supplies last.


Choose Your Way Bellevue promotes alternatives to driving alone for commutes and
other trips. Learn more at ChooseYourWayBellevue.org, including how to ride a bus;
vanpool and carpool partner matching; and personalized commute planning assistance. 

 

TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL COMMUTE TRIP REDUCTION (CTR) PROGRAM

Posted on July 17, 2022

START at the top! Get your company’s management to buy into the benefits of CTR: less money on parking, more green points for your company, and a solid choice of transit benefits create happier, more productive employees. 

KNOW your acronyms! (There are so many!)

  • CTR: Commute Trip Reduction
  • ETC: Employee Transportation Coordinator
  • TDM: Transportation Demand Management
  • TMP: Transportation Management Plan
  • Non SOV: -Single Occupant Vehicle

DESIGNATE a company Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC) who has excellent people and management skills who can develop, implement and monitor a successful CTR program. Make sure the ETC is registered for training courses (provided by the City of Bellevue) so he/she can understand the need and benefits a solid CTR program can provide to both the company and its employees.

CHOOSE YOUR OFFERINGS! Complete CTR/ETC training and decide what benefits work best for employees at your company: 

•    Transit/ORCA Pass
•    Ride Matching
•    Car or Vanpools
•    Cycling
•    Compressed Workweek
•    Parking Payout
•    Telecommuting/Remote Work
•    All of the Above!

IMPLEMENT & MARKET! Once you decide what CTR elements your company will offer employees, it’s time to implement! Create a webpage, a brochure or a flyer of benefits offered. Orient employees – especially those newly-hired – per the CTR benefits our company offers. Consider hosting transportation fairs.  Send timely emails about various non-Single Occupant Vehicle (SOV) options, and more! The more you promote your CTR program, the more your employees will enjoy the benefits offered and your company will attract and retain the best and the brightest, while cutting down on expensive parking use, helping to ease traffic congestion and lessen pollution.  

STAY IN TOUCH & INFORMED! Join CTR/ETC groups in and around the Puget Sound area. There are many to choose from. Also be sure to utilize the Choose Your Way Bellevue site for the latest information on all forms of non-SOV travel, CTR/ETC updates, models & resources to help promote your program and more!

AND FINALLY! Prepare, prepare, prepare for your company’s biannual employee survey and program report.  The company-wide survey can seem a daunting task initially, but it is completely doable and the information your company gains from the survey results is invaluable. You’ll get a notice 45-days prior to the survey, then set the start date of the survey, and have two weeks to reach the return rate goal of 70%.  In a nutshell, the better your survey return rate, the more knowledgeable you’ll be about your program’s successes and areas that may need improvement. 

And last but not least, thank you for your role in helping KEEP BELLEVUE MOVING!!

 

-Choose Your Way staffer Alison

 

Your Travel Guide to Bellevue Family 4th

Posted on June 30, 2022

The annual Bellevue Family 4th event is back and in full force! Below are some tips and info about how you can get to the event! 


Fireworks


Bus & Walk - Take the bus to the Bellevue Transit Center, walk directly west on the pedestrian corridor (Northeast Sixth Street) to Bellevue Way, and walk two blocks south to get to the Downtown Park. For a walking map, use a Choose Your Way Bellevue Downtown Pedestrian Guide.

Carpool - Make the most of the open seats in your car, grab some friends and head to the free parking that is available after 5 p.m. at The Bellevue Collection properties (Bellevue Square, Lincoln Square North, Lincoln Square South and Bellevue Place). Keep in mind the Main Street Bridge is under construction and cannot be used.  

Cycling - Utilize the high-comfort bike lanes southbound on 108th Avenue and westbound on Main Street to get to Bellevue Downtown Park.  Keep in mind the Main Street Bridge is under construction and cannot be used. Use the Bellevue Bike map ( or the bike icon on Google Maps to help plan your bike trip. Check out the Downtown Bike Parking and Amenities Map for bike parking locations.


-Choose Your Way staffer Jake

 

Benefits of Riding Transit

Posted on June 22, 2022

With summer kicking off, so does Transportation Choices’ Ride Transit Month for June! We are excited to see more people starting to use transit again as we slowly return to normal. King County Metro has recently been seeing 200,000 daily weekday bus riders, among other encouraging statistics! Here are some benefits to using transit for Ride Transit Month and beyond.
 

Bus


Cost: 
•    Transportation is the second largest household expense, with housing being the only expense listed above it. (transportationchoices.org).
•    Gas prices continue to go up making it more expensive to drive alone to work. Meanwhile bus, train, and vanpool fares are remaining the same and there are no current plans to raise them.  
•    By taking any form of public transportation to your destination, you can avoid parking fees. 
•    For more some additional stats, check out one of our previous blogs breaking down the cost of owning a bike vs the cost of owning a car.

Environmental impact:
•    Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Washington State. (transportationchoices.org)
•    At least 14 million pounds of toxic chemicals flow into Puget Sound every year including motor oil spill, drop, and runoff from paved areas. (transportationchoices.org).
•    In Washington, driving accounts for almost 60% of air pollution. (transportationchoices.org).

Saving time and staying active:
•    One in three Washingtonians don’t get enough physical activity. (transportationchoices.org)
•    People who take the train or bus are more likely to get their 30 minutes of recommended physical activity each day. (transportationchoices.org).
•    Trains are among the safest and most reliable forms of transportation during inclement weather. (transportationchoices.org). 

These are just a few of the many benefits that come with riding transit! If you are taking transit to work, make sure you are logging your trips so you can claim rewards like a $50 gift card as part of our “Return-to-Travel” campaign. 

Sources:
https://transportationchoices.org/rider-tools/ 

-Choose Your Way staffer Jake 

 


 

Get to Know the Choose Your Way Bellevue Team: Jake Uttich

Posted on June 7, 2022

Our interview blog series is back! We bring you an interview with different Choose Your Way Bellevue staff, discussing their work and life throughout the last year. This blog’s interviewee is Jake Uttich.


 
What is your occupation?
I am the TDM Outreach Coordinator for TransManage.

Where do you live and work?
I currently live in Seattle and work for the Bellevue Downtown Association.

How has your work life shifted since the beginning of the pandemic?
In the beginning of the pandemic, I was an essential worker and had to go in most days of the week which was stressful. But I have since graduated and began working for TransManage. As a result, I have been working from home most days of the week, which has been a huge relief for me. I look forward to coming back into the office as we slowly migrate back to a “normal” life.  

How has your commute shifted since the beginning of the pandemic?
I used to carpool to work every day with a couple coworkers before the pandemic. I had to switch to driving to work by myself temporarily once it began. Fortunately, since starting with TransManage I have been able to work from home remotely and when I do go into the office, I take the bus. 

What advice would you give to those working from home?
I would say that getting comfortable in your workspace is what is most impactful for me. I miss a lot of the small things from working in an office like being able to pop into a cubicle if I had a quick question that might be tough to word in an email, watching people’s small office plants grow, small talks on my walk to fill up my water bottle, etc. To supplement this, I have been taking walks while I eat my lunch, bought my own house plant for my desk, and bought a bird feeder that I placed outside my window. All little things that keep things loose while also making sure that I stay focused.  

What do you do for fun and how do you get there?
I love being outside! I just moved here from Florida so spending as much time in the mountains as I can has been a priority. I have so far been hiking (Poo Poo Point… Wow!), outdoor bouldering and taking long walks throughout the city hitting an occasional art museum or park. I have so far been carpooling to the mountains with some friends and then I either walk or take the bus when staying in the city. (Editor’s note: Check out King County Metro’s Trailhead Direct for direct bus service to trailheads!)

Want to share your commute story? You can do so through the Mover of the Month reward from our Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards program! Each month, our staff will select one Bellevue traveler's submission, and their story will be featured in our monthly newsletter. Winners will receive $50 towards your bus or vanpool fare in the form of a TranBen voucher or the equivalent in Choose Your Way Bellevue merchandise! There's no need to reapply each month, but feel free to share more than one story with us. Learn more and submit your commute story here.

-Choose Your Way staffer Jake

 

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