Staff of The Washington Post, reporters raced one weekday afternoon by car, taxi and subway from downtown to National Airport, as many people do for business trips each day.

Start: 3:30 p.m. from the Washington Post building at 15th and L. Streets NW.

Finish: The gate for Eastern Airlines' New York and Boston shutt flights at National Airlines.

Car: 20 minutes.

Taxi: 26 minutes.

Subway: 46 minutes! Taxis

For me, a trip to the airportis fraught with possibilities of disaster. Sometimes you can't get a cab. Or a flat tre on the 14th Street Bridge has blocked traffic. Sometimes you get to the airport and spend half an hour getting to the taxi-drop-off lane at the main terminal. Then there is a long of people in front of you for buying tickets or checking in. I've often been late.

Well, this time the trip was nearly flawless.

After leaving the Post at 3:30 p.m., I got a cab at 3:32. Traffic Street Bridge was "starting to build up" as the evening rush hour began.

There was, of course, still a fair-sized backup leading to the main terminal at the airport. I made it to the Eastern shuttle gate at 3:56, after paying the taxi driver $4.45.