Last week, Washington Post staffers raced each other by car and public transportation along several typical commuter routes here.Today's report compares commuting by car, bus and subway from far northwest Washington to the congressional offices on Capitol Hill . Bus

Start: 8:12 a.m. at Nebraska and Utah Avenues NW in the Barnaby Woods neighborhood.

Finish: Dirksen Senate Office Building at 1st Street and Constitution Avenue NE.

Car: 32 minutes.

Bus and subway: 44 minutes.

Bus only: 45 minutes.

This trip involved taking two buses: the M-4 feeder to Connecticut Avenue and the L-1 Capitol Hill Express bus from Connecticut and Nebraska Avenues NW to the Dirksen Building (fare: 50 cents).

The L-1 was not quite full. After Nebraska Avenue, it made only three more stops to pick up passengers - at Albemarle, Van Ness and Porter Streets NW - before heading nonstop south toward downtown. The bus moved steadily and with hardly a stop for lights or traffic.

Except for a momentary slowdown at the Metro construction site at Connecticut and Ordway, the bus continued to run smoothly, reaching 14th and I Streets NW - the first discharge point - at 8:43. Only 10 persons got off, and none of them went into the adjacent McPherson Square subway station.

The bus then wound slowly through downtown, stopping frequently for lights and traffic, gradually unloading passengers, until reaching 1st Street and Constitution Avenue NE where I got off, walked across the street and entered the Dirksen Building at 8:57.