Attention Seattle commuters! Rates on the 520 Bridge are set to go up again beginning July 1st. Prices for the bridge toll at different times throughout the day are listed here.
Maybe thisis a good time to remind you there are 7 Redmond/Overlake bus routes that cross the 520 Bridge hundreds of times every day. KC Metro 242, 250, 265, 266, 268, and Sound Transit 542 & 545 will all help you handle the tolls.
Check out these other R-TRIP tips about handling the 520 tolling.
Tolls on the SR 520 bridge will increase an average of 2.5 percent. The peak weekday Good To Go! pass rate will be $3.70 and the peak weekday Pay By Mail rate will be $5.25. The toll increase affects all rate levels.
SR 520 traffic and revenue continue to meet projections and are on track to provide more than $1 billion in funding to help pay for the construction of a new bridge. In 2016, there is a planned 15 percent increase. Each of these planned toll rate increases will be reexamined each year during the commission’s rate setting process. These incremental toll increases are needed to support our financial plan to make debt payments on the bonds that are financing current SR 520 program construction.
Buses don’t work for everyone’s schedule. Maybe you live too far to bike to work. Enter Vanpool!
Vanpool’s are a fantastic, flexible option for commuters. If you’re not familiar with Vanpool, it may seem daunting to figure out how to find or create a Vanpool. So let’s break it down.
What Is Vanpool?
Vanpool allows you and 4-14 others to have access to a van to commute to and from work. Riders decide pick up locations and times, and will drive together your work, or your work’s neighborhood. Vanpools can also carry bicycles to help you make connections between pick up and drop off locations.
Drivers of the vanpool keep the van at their home, and are able to use them for limited personal trips.
How to Join a Vanpool
Look for existing Vanpools in Your Area:Rideshare Online and R-TRIP have ride-matching services.
Enter your home address, work address, and work hours and we’ll connect you with Vanpool options that meet your needs.
Vanpools Looking for Riders: Peruse this list of vanpools coming into Redmond from locations around Puget Sound. You can contact the driver of the vanpool to join.
Start a Vanpool: Know people at work who live in your neighbor hood? Want the thrill of driving your own Vanpool? King County Metro has all the resources to get you started.
What Does it Cost?
Your Vanpool fare depends on the number of riders and distance your vanpool travels. Let’s say you’re driving from Seattle to Redmond, which is about 30 miles roundtrip, and there are 5 people in your van. That works out to be about $4.00 per trip. 6 people in your van? About $3.40/trip.
Compare that to driving alone. It will cost you about $4,500 to commute from Seattle to Redmond in your personal vehicle every year. Your vanpool cost for the year? $840. Plus you get to ride in the HOV lane, reduce your environmental impact and avoid tolls. Not too shabby.
Do you have soccer practice every Tuesday night? Early morning meetings on Thursday? You can work with your vanpool to determine how many days a week you’ll commute by vanpool, and build flexibility into your schedule. Vanpool riders also receive a Guaranteed Ride Home, should an emergency come up while you are at work, your taxi ride is covered.
Incentives & Subsidies
To help get you started, R-TRIP offers a $300 Vanpool subsidy for people new to Vanpool, plus a $100 driving bonus and a $35 referral bonus for recruiting new riders. (This works out to $50/month for your first 6 months).
Many businesses, including Microsoft, offer additional subsidies to go towards your monthly fare. Often times, this subsidy will cover the entire cost of your vanpool. Talk with your company’s HR or Commuter Assistance Office for more information on your particular business subsidy.
Vanpool trips make you eligible for R-TRIP monthly incentives and the $50 Commute Reduction.
Work on Willows?
This summer, R-TRIP, King County Metro, and the GRTMA will be working with businesses in the Willows Road area of Redmond to establish Vanpools. More information to come, but email us at support@goRTRIP.com if you would like to be kept in the loop for this summer program.
Route 245 between Factoria and the Kirkland Transit Center will be discontinuing four trips in each direction. On weekdays, four southbound trips to Factoria leaving the Kirkland Transit Center will be discontinued at:
Four northbound trips to Kirkland leaving Factoria will also be discontinued at
On weekends, one southbound trip leaving the Kirkland Transit Center at 11:55 p.m. will be discontinued. The Regional Mobility grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation that funded these trips will expire on June 30. This grant had provided additional service to the 245. To plug the gap, some service will be reduced, but Redmond and Bellevue have provided supporting resources to maintain the bulk of service on this route.
Beginning this Saturday, June 8, King County Metro Transit will revise bus service, routing and schedules. This is an effort to continue to operate more efficiently, improve travel times and better match bus service to ridership. Changes affecting 17 routes are posted online, and also included in new green timetables and an orange rider alert brochure.
Metro updates its routes and schedules three times a year to improve service and address the changing needs of transit customers, while operating within budget. The June 8 changes come as Metro continues to prepare for possible service cuts up to 17 percent beginning in fall 2014 unless a stable source of revenue is identified. Metro continues to seek public input to help guide these potential service cuts.
We’re celebrating the start of summer and the BBQ season by giving away 50, $25 gift cards to Think Redmond businesses Bill the Butcher and Malt & Vine.
Simply bike, walk, carpool, vanpool or take the bus to work; log your trips on your commute calendar located on your My Page; and sign up for this incentive. The drawing will take place in July and winners will be notified and announced here on the blog.
Bill the Butcher has “the only meat to eat” for the grill, and Malt & Vine has 20 items on tap, and over 900 bottled beers and wines to take home.
Drivers crossing Lake Washington this weekend, including those headed into Seattle for a Saturday night Kenny Chesney concert and Sunday’s Race for the Cure, should plan ahead to avoid potential congestion this weekend when SR 520 closes for construction. Crews will close all lanes and ramps of SR 520 between Montlake Boulevard in Seattle and I- 405 in Bellevue starting 11 p.m. Friday, May 31. All lanes and ramps will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, June 3. During the closure, construction crews will prepare for the next phase of widening on the SR 520 Eastside Transit and HOV Project.
More night work this weekend on I-405 in Kirkland area
Contractor crews will close portions of southbound I-405 again on Saturday night to continue restriping the highway as part of the Bellevue to Lynnwood Widening and Express Toll Lanes Project. Starting at 8 p.m. on June 1, we’ll close up to three lanes of southbound I-405 between NE 85th Street and NE 70th Street. We’ll also close the NE 85th Street ramps to and from southbound I-405 overnight in this area. All lanes and ramps will reopen by 9 a.m. on Sunday, June 2. You can read all the details and get the latest information on our construction updates page.
It’s been a great Bike-to-Work Month around R-TRIP, and we’re looking forward to keeping the momentum going through the summer! We’ve had our Bike Bash Photos up on our Facebook & Flickr pages, but wanted to share the joy on the blog. We’re so lucky to have such a great bike community in Redmond, thank you for all you do to keep Redmond green!
April showers brought May flowers….and 50 big winners!
Congratulations to the following folks who won $25 to spend in Redmond, after they used an alternative way to get to work in April and logged their trip on their R-TRIP calendar. Wasn’t you? No worries, we’ll draw 50 more names next month. Get your trips logged today at www.gortrip.com.
Biking makes you happy, right? Well spread the love by smiling and waving at drivers and you’ll be helping improve safety at the same time. King County has kicked off their new “Look, Smile, Wave” Campaign that reminds bus operators, drivers, and cyclists to lookout for each other. This comes at a time when more cyclists are out on the roads, enjoying Bike-To-Work month and the mild summer weather.
Metro Transit has also created five new bus/bike safety videos online to help show what cyclists and drivers can do to see each other and improve safety. These videos cover tops like loading a bike on the bus, traveling predicably, and more as get around our city by bike.
The GRTMA will have two commute stations set up in Redmond. Cascade Bicycle Club has other commute stations set up across the region
Sammamish River Trail between NE 124th Street and NE 116th Street (near Sixty Acres Park concession stand/restrooms)
Overlake on the 520 bike trail near NE 51st
Bicycle Commuters can stop by the stations for complimentary bike maintenance, refreshments, and bicycle information.
On the Ride Home:
Come to the BIKE BASH! We’ll have local bike shops, Element Cycle & Redmond Bike Works on hand to answer all your bike questions and provide minor repairs. Element Cycle will also have some electric bikes available for test rides.
While you rock out to our live music, Zeeks Pizza, Midori’s Bakery, and the Root Beer Store will all have samples to keep you fueled. Redmond’s Bar and Grill will have a beer garden to help you celebrate Bike Month so be sure to bring your teammates and a few dollars for local, Redmond beers.
Life Changes Massage will be offering free chair massages to work out any of those sore muscles. Seattle Photobooths will also be on hand with a load of props to give you and your friends a fun souvenir of the party. You’ll be able to share these photos on your Facebook and Twitter accounts from the event, and take home an old fashioned physical copy.
The Redmond Police Department will be on hand to register your bike serial numbers and sell bicycle helmets for $10.
R-TRIP, Think Redmond, Impact Redmond, the Marymoor Velodrome Association, Redmond Pedestrian & Bicycle Advisory Committee and the Parks Staff will also be on hand giving you the scoop on all things bike in the Redmond community.
There are going to be a ton of give-a-ways, lots of fun, and probably a fair amount of spandex.
Redmond’s Bike Bash, this Friday May 17th! From 4-7 PM along the Sammamish River Trail behind City Hall.
We’re celebrating all Redmond bikers with Redmond’s Bike Bash at the end of Bike-to-Work week! The party is from 4-7pm along the Sammamish River Trail behind City Hall. Stop by on your ride home from work to enjoy free food, live music, free massages, info from local bike shops, and a cash beer garden hosted by Redmond’s Bar and Grill.