Former Metro rider says commuting by car is safest way to get to work on time

By Robert Thomson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 15, 2010; 12:00 AM

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

One of the reasons I moved into my new home was the convenient 10-minute walk to the Rockville Station on the Red Line. But I'm back in the car now, even though my '98 Acura has more than 200,000 miles on it.

Metro has become a slow-motion disaster: Crazy fare increases, broken escalators, broken elevators, slow moving, erratically driven trains, crowding, poor security, and most disconcerting, the fatal accidents.

I was trying to do the right thing environmentally by taking Metro. But I have a job that I have to get to, safely and in a timely manner. So in spite of the added expense, and the wear and tear and the extra mileage on my 12-year-old car, I'm hitting the road.

It's hard to believe, given how bad traffic congestion has become in this area, but driving to work is far safer and more reliable than the Russian roulette that taking Metro has become.

Meanwhile, the politicos and talking heads keep chattering away, and nothing gets done. So look for me on Rockville Pike from now on.

-- Thomas Ressler,


On last Sunday's Commuter page, I noted with satisfaction that Nicholas Ramfos of Commuter Connections takes a non-ideological approach to helping workers find the best way to get where they're going in the D.C. area. "It's all about time and money," he said.

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