Monday, February 20, 2017

Getting the Most Out of my Daily Commute

One of the reasons I wanted to move to Washington DC, was I wanted to live in a real city with a mass transit system, and by mass transit system, I mean trains and subways.  I enjoy not having to fight traffic on a daily basis. The subway system is not perfect, and it does have it's moments of frustration, but far few frustrations than traffic.  

I live in a high rise condo, on top of a hill about 8 miles directly south of Washington DC.  I am a 10-12 minute walk from the nearest subway station.  The condo runs a shuttle bus mornings and afternoons on weekdays, or I can walk, about once per week I drive to the station and park (the station has three large parking garages.)  
When I can I walk to and from the station.  The route crosses a small park, skirting around a steep ravine that has not been developed (a developer owns the ravine and will do something with it some day.)  The picture above was taken on morning, I nice sticky snow had fallen overnight - it had all melted off by evening.    

Once on the train, I almost always settle into my favorite seat, third car from the end, middle doors, east side of the train.  Most mornings and afternoons I read, looking up as the train crosses the water at Four Mile Run and again as it passes the end of Reagan National Airport - I love checking out what planes are on the ground.  I read again, looking up when the train crosses the River north of the Pentagon.  I change trains at Gallery Place China Town, and if I can get a seat, read for another 10 minutes.  If I don't feel like reading, I people watch, or simply sit and think.  I leave the driving to Metro Rail. My office is five floors directly above a subway station.  My commute takes 50 to 75 minutes each way - depending on how many problems the train has.  I enjoy it, and do my best to get the most out of it. 

What is your commute like? 


  1. 7 miles driving opposite the traffic flow; takes about 15 minutes. the classical music station is on the radio.

  2. Three miles door-to-door in a small town where it takes me about 4 minutes.
    In Miami, it took me 45 minutes in the morning and two hours in the afternoon to commute.
    This is better.

  3. Phoenix is the opposite of mass transit; one drives. often. everywhere.

  4. DC does have a wonderful transit system. My commute id driving to nj, a 45 mile one way trip!!!! But here, a five minutes walk from my front door, is the regional rail, which I take to Philly for the day or weekend. A cheap $12 round trip ride, relaxing and no hassling with traffic. I also take that line into Philly, can switch lines, and go to the airport to fly out, with drive having to drive and worry about my car at the airport.

  5. No commute now, I'm happy to report. But I loved living in Washington DC in the 80s. What a great Metro system. We lived in Georgetown and Jerry got on at Dupont Circle and went to Capitol Hill every day. I walked to work at US News, but used the Metro whenever I could. We didn't own a car for the three years we lived there.

  6. Happily no commute here. I work mostly from home and run out to meet clients when needed to show homes or meet at my actual office which is only 12 blocks away. Unfortunately due to General Motors, San Diego's mass transit was lost (just like LA's) due to GM's purchase and complete dismantling of the system. It is slowly being re-built.