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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Council Roundup: Improved bus service planned

Also, city wins award for foreign-language emergency videos

A bus stopping at Bellevue's transit center.Bus riders in Bellevue will have more travel options downtown and a new bus route to Redmond under a pair of partnership agreements approved by the City Council Monday.

Council members signed off on an agreement with King County Metro for a new downtown circulator bus service. Under the contract, Metro will begin operating a free shuttle in 2010 that features specially marked, Bellevue-branded, transit vehicles that run every 10 minutes. Details about the exact route and type of vehicles will be worked out in the coming months.

The service would cost the city an estimated $3.65 million over five years, approximately 37 percent of the project's total cost. Metro would pay the balance.

A second agreement concerns a program called RapidRide, a type of bus rapid transit service that will connect downtown Bellevue, Crossroads, Overlake and downtown Redmond. RapidRide will feature more frequent buses, faster trips, new bus shelters and passenger amenities. That service is scheduled to begin in 2011.

Part of the RapidRide program includes a partnership between Bellevue, Redmond and Metro to coordinate traffic signal upgrades and other improvements that increase transit speeds along the planned route. In exchange, Metro will add up to 10,000 bus service hours annually in Bellevue and Redmond. 

Better Bellevue Bus Service

Feedback: Maria Koengeter, Senior Planner, 425-452-4345 or mkoengeter@bellevuewa.gov

City honored for preparedness video
The Bellevue Fire Department has won a prestigious award for an emergency preparedness video translated into seven languages.

The award was presented to the department by the International Association of Emergency Managers. The city won first place in the public awareness category.

The eight videos, produced in part with federal Homeland Security funds, were made following the devastating December 2006 windstorm that hit the Puget Sound region and left parts of Bellevue without electricity for days.

The storm underscored the need to better inform and educate residents with limited English skills about basic emergency preparedness procedures.

The videos were a joint project of the Fire Department, the city's Neighborhood Outreach group and Bellevue TV staff. Each video is about 10 minutes in length and includes native speakers delivering basic emergency information in Russian, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Vietnamese, Korean and English.

The videos may be viewed on the city’s website, both in the emergency preparedness section and in the foreign-language sections. Free DVDs are available at City Hall, Crossroads Mini City Hall, any Bellevue park community center and all fire stations.

Feedback: Steve Thomas, Emergency Preparedness Manager, 425-452-6813 or spthomas@bellevuewa.gov

The Council Agendas and Council Minutes pages offer complete information regarding Council meetings.

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