On Friday, I did a dry run of what will be my commute starting on Monday. For those of you who are familiar with the D.C. area, you’ll know that during rush hour, 66 is 100% HOV inside of the beltway, which means that I am forced to take public transportation. If that was just gibberish to you, basically that means that you must have at least 2 people in your vehicle to travel into the District between the hours of 7 and 9:30. I have the opportunity to take the George Washington Parkway downtown, but driving into the city during rush hour is a nightmare, plus I’d have to pay for parking, which is about $20/day. Public transportation it is!
My commute will begin in Reston, where I’ll take the commuter bus 15 minutes down the road to the West Falls Church Metro station. I’ll take the orange line straight to Metro Center, where I’ll walk about a half a block to my office. It might sound like a production (it kind of is), but I am SO grateful that I don’t have to switch trains and that I’ll be able to stay on the orange line my entire trip. That is such a treat for commuters!
So on Friday, I got up early and got out the door by 7 to get to the park and ride to get the bus. I was really impressed with the scheduling that the DC Transportation system setup, as everything ran very smoothly. I’m sure there will be hicups on occasion, but it seems to be setup effectively. The busses get their own lane on the highway in the mornings, so no matter what the traffic situation is like, the busses are always on schedule.
Once I got to West Falls Chuch, I got my official SmarTrip card (it’s like a credit card) and boarded the train. I think by the time I got to the metro, it was about 7:30, and I was able to get a feel how many people would be on the train around that time. It was a Friday, so I’m not sure how accurate my view was, but it wasn’t too terrible. I was able to get a seat, so I really couldn’t ask for much more than that.
It took 20 minutes to get to Metro Center, which is where I got to the point where I remembered how much I hate the effing metro. Metro Center is in the heart of the city and is one of the busier stations because 3 different lines meet there. Luckily it’s my stop and I won’t have to wait for another train, but holy hell that place is crazy. People rush around like they’re the most important people on earth, they tear up and down escalators, bump into you without apologizing and squish their bodies into already full trains. It’s beyond irritating. I refuse to become one of those people and would much prefer to just give myself an extra 10 minutes to get where I need to go. I appreciate public transportation, but people can be so, so, so rude. I think of all of the things I’m going to be faced with, it’s the people that are going to be the worst.
Door to door, I think it took just about an hour. For this area, it’s not too terrible.
A few people have asked me exactly where in the city I’ll be working, and my answer is this: Literally, right downtown. I’m about 2 blocks east of the White House and 6 blocks north of the Mall. Chinatown and the Verizon center are only 2 blocks away, so I’ll be walking to Caps games next season!
So that’s it! Orientation is on Monday, and I’ll start in my official position on Tuesday! I feel as ready as I can be and am happy that I did a dry run on Friday. I’m a nerd, but hey, it makes me feel better.
Wish me luck!