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Train Not in Vain

By Rob Pegoraro
Washington Post Staff Writer
July 4, 1997

The homebuilt special-interest sites on the Web always seem to do better than the professionally done pages.

So it was a bit of a surprise to see a local government one that had previously let its Web home moulder away in an undead state for two years come up with one such site. Arlington County's "Commuter Page" combines both public-transit propaganda for all and useful details for people who work in the county.

The most useful area for the general public is a cost calculator (on the "public transportation" page), which estimates how much money you could keep by not driving to work alone. It cheerfully declared that one of my colleagues "could save up to $1,502.40 each year!" (But the calculator assumes walking to work is free, a questionable axiom considering how hoofing it to work eats shoe leather.)

County commuters get a slew of practical data like HOV lane schedules, links to telecommuting resources, an online mechanism for carpoolers to join the Commuter Connections ride-matching service, time estimates for various bicycle commutes into the county, maps that actually list bike racks and so on.

As for commutes elsewhere in the D.C. area... well, all those talented amateurs still have their opportunity.

Rob Pegoraro <rob@twp.com>

© Copyright 1997 The Washington Post

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