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

It was just a short walk on a cold morning (past a bunch of youths with gloves on playing basketball). I bought a newspaper at the subway entrance (price 15 cents).

The train (fare: 55 cents) came within a minute of my arrival and there were plenty of seats. I had plenty of time and comfort for reading U.S. government buys dollars: Art Buchwald, new struggles in China, realist paintings at the Hirshhorn, the '76ers win, Wordsmith, Tank McNamara, Andy Capp, Doonesbury - in reverse order, of course.

A two-block walk from the subway station and I was at the Post, loaded with new information and plenty of paper to roll up for my fireplace.