If you live in New York, Philadelphia or Boston, you can hop on a commuter rail train any summer weekend and travel to the beach. But not if you live in D.C. Here we have no train, and the buses are impractical and expensive.

Let’s compare:

Boston’s Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority recently launched its Cape Flyer service, from Boston South Station to Cape Cod. A round-trip ticket to Hyannis is $35.

New Jersey Transit runs trains from Philadelphia 30th Street Station to Atlantic City for $20 round trip, and from New York Penn Station to the Jersey Shore for $25 round trip. New Yorkers can also take Long Island Rail Road from Penn Station to Montauk for about $40 round trip.

For D.C., there is no train, much less an affordable one. There are no tracks directly between D.C. and Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The only track connection is at the very top of Chesapeake Bay, near Wilmington, Del. Amtrak does offer service to Ocean City, but you have to connect to an Amtrak bus at the Baltimore airport, and it’s $120 for a round trip.

[Continue reading Dan Malouff’s post at BeyondDC.]

Dan Malouff is an Arlington County transportation planner who blogs independently at BeyondDC.com. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.