Have you set any New Year’s resolutions for 2020? How about doing something good for yourself (stress-less), your city, & your planet. Pledge to commute car-free 1x a week.
We’ve all set too-audacious New Year’s resolutions that we’ve given up on before we even start. Did you stress out a little too much in 2019? Was traffic partly to blame? If you’re still commuting by car, here’s a solution and challenge for you: go car-free (we like to call it car[e]-free) at least once a week.
Think of us as your accountability buddy to help you stay on track with this New Year’s resolution.
Better yet, think of Sal the Salmon as your accountability buddy. She’s just as fed up with Seattle’s traffic as you are, and is committed to helping people find ways to #FlipYourTrip and commute car-free.
Take Sal’s advice to get started: know your options, make a plan, #FlipYourTrip by commuting car-free, & celebrate that you’re beating Seattle traffic.
1. Know your options – Seattle has invested in a bunch of ways to help you commute car-free.
How will you get to work without your car? From traffic navigation resources, maps-galore (we’ve got lots of em’), trip planning for transit, transit tickets, best places to park, and carpool, bike share, car share, and ride hail tools – the resource trove lives on our Seattle.gov/traffic website. Here are some options you might consider:
- Bus: King County Metro Bus provides reliable and convenient service across King County. Regional bus service is also available from Sound Transit Express and Community Transit.
- Rail: Link Light Rail provides frequent (and traffic-free!) service from Angle Lake and the SeaTac Airport to the University of Washington in northeast Seattle. Sounder Train runs from Everett in the north, to Lakewood south of Tacoma, with a stop in Seattle at King Street Station in Pioneer Square. (Learn about Connect 2020 Link light rail disruptions starting this month).
- Water: King County Water Taxi is smooth sailing from West Seattle and Vashon Island to Downtown Seattle, and new service from Kitsap Fast Ferry whisks you to Bremerton and Kingston. You can also board Washington State Ferries to connect to Bainbridge Island and Bremerton.
- Bike: The Seattle By Bike guide has everything you need to know about biking in the city. Map your bike route before you go for optimal speed. You don’t have to own a bicycle to bike to work. Take a bike share. They are cheap, convenient, and no U-lock needed!
- Carpool: Ride with a friend using King County Metro’s Carpool Program or King County Metro’s Vanpool Program if you’ve got a group of five people.
- Telecommute: If you’re able, working remotely or teleworking is also a great option. Here are some resources for you and your employer through our partner’s website at Commute Seattle.
- Other: Seattle Streetcar takes you from South Lake Union to Westlake, and from Pioneer Square to Capitol Hill. The Monorail connects Westlake with Seattle Center (and it accept ORCA cards now, too!)
2. Make a plan. We’ve got lots of tools for you!
Map your best travel option. Go online or download the apps and get directions using Google Maps, plan your route on public transportation using the Transit app, or customize a commute plan with Metro’s Just One Trip program. Decide which day(s) of the week it makes sense for you to go car-free. You can even set up an incentive plan to keep you motivated – like a sticker chart! Every time you commute car-free you give yourself a sticker, and after ten stickers you can treat yourself to coffee or something special.
If you plan to use public transportation, be sure to get an ORCA Card or use the Transit GO app on your phone. (Remember to talk to your employer to see if they have resources for you. Some organizations provide an ORCA card!)
3. #FlipYourTrip & commute car-free (car[e]-free).
You set a plan, now do it! Enjoy the ride – whether it means you get to relax on a bus, catch up with a friend in a carpool, or feel the wind as you bike down one of our protected bike lanes. You’re now one of the many people who have found a better way to commute!
4. Celebrate that you’re part of the solution to ease Seattle’s traffic.
Like any good accountability partner, Sal wants to hear about how you’re killin’ it on your resolution. Use the hashtag #FlipYourTrip and #MyCommuteWasAwesome, and tag @SeattleDOT to share about your car-free commute so Sal can cheer you on!