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Why I don’t take the Metro to work

September 30, 2007

From James Joyner, via Megan McArdle:

I’m now commuting into D.C. on a near-weekdaily basis. According to GoogleMaps, the office is 13.5 miles from the house. I can usually drive there in 45-60 minutes during off-peak hours, although it can sometimes take much longer if there’s an accident. I can park in the garage next to my office for the day for $12. Conversely, I can drive 15-20 minutes to a Metro station, pay $4 to park, wait as long as 15 minutes for a train, pay another $2.65 to get two blocks from the office 35-50 minutes later, followed by a 5-10 minute walk to the office.

So, in order to save $2.70 (plus a nominal amount of gasoline), it would cost me 30-75 minutes each day for the round trip, plus the privacy and autonomy I enjoy in my own vehicle. Given that I earn enough that $3 is poor compensation indeed for that much of my time, I drive unless there’s a really good reason not to.

And they’re about to raise the rates for Metro fares and parking, further skewing the calculus in the direction of “drive.”

I agree 100%. My options are drive (I’m a reverse commuter) 25-30 minutes each way, or walk to the metro, switch trains, then get on a shuttle bus that drops me off a block from the office. No thanks.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Keri Rance permalink
    October 2, 2007 3:41 pm

    I have to say that the metro is not nearly as tempting to me as walking the 3 miles to work and home every day. If it’s not full of pissed off commuters, then it’s being clogged by tourists who can’t seem to figure out that letting people off the metro will make it easier for them to get on. And you have to wonder why there is always one lady saying “Don’t touch me. What did I tell you? Why is she touching me?” I’ll tell you why she’s touching you, because there are 200 people on a train car that holds 120. You don’t get 3 ft of personal space for $1.35.

    Now, that said, the metro is a heavenly mode of transportation compared to the bus. When my bus finally arrived this morning – only 10 minutes late this time – it was, once again, packed to the brim. There were limbs bursting from the doors, people practically falling out when they opened to let on yet more passengers. Here’s an idea, when people get off the bus, you should move back to make space for more people to get on – nah, you’re just fine where you are. And the 10 people that just got on at that last stop can just sit on the bus driver’s lap. It’s not like there are ever any bus accidents. It’s totally safe to ride the bus with your faced pressed against the front window. That way, when the bus driver slams on the brakes at the next stop that he aparently forgot was there, you don’t go flying into the window- you’re already there. And besides, it takes longer for that smell to get to you, so you will have more time to breath without choking. Just try not to let that decal taunt you – “Why Travel Any Other Way?”

  2. K-Diggity permalink*
    October 3, 2007 4:22 pm

    I will drive absolutely everywhere if at all possible. I will risk DUIs. I will risk falling asleep at the wheel. I will risk being lost for hours to avoid the 900 million degree temperatures and 15 minute waits for a train where I get to watch some near-homeless guy attempt to hit on the most attractive girl in the car.


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