Last week, Washington Post staffers became commuters and raced each other by car and public transportation along several typical commuting routes. Today's report compares commuting by car, bicycle, bus and subway from Capitol Hill to the downtown office district.
Start: 8:24 a.m. from 7th and East Capitol Streets NE, in the heart of a popular residential neighborhood.
Finish: Washington Post building at 15th and L Streets NW.
Car: 16 minutes.
Bicycle: 22 minutes.
Subway: 29 minutes.
Bus and subway: 35 minutes
I took a 40 bus to Union Station (fare: 50 cents). There were about 25 people already on the bus and the number remained about the same as the bus stopped only two or three times more before reaching its destination.
At Union Station, three of the four farecard machines were broken and about 20 people (including me) had to wait to buy their farecards as a repairman worked on the broken machines. Although trains could be heard coming and going in both directions, the crowd was patient.
My train, when I finally got on one (fare: 40 cents), then sat on the tracks another two or three minutes before moving. On my way to the Farragut North station, (on the Red Line), I heard one woman complain to another that she really ought to be parking at the D.C. Stadium lot and taking the Blue Line from the Stadium-Armory station, "but with parking or a dollar fare, it's really not worth it."